Musto Performance Skiff

MUSTO Skiff: Lee-on-the-Solent : Open 2012

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Report by Richard Pelley & Dave Poston

The Lee-on-the-Solent open saw 11 competitors enter the contest for what was to turn into an epic event.

The race officer set up for the first race, to be shooed out of the way by some big yachty club from Cowes. The course was reset to the western end of the Lee frontage for another big boat event to set their leeward mark just to windward of our windward mark. This was lucky as the boats that sailed from Stokes bay had under estimated the time it would take to get to the race area and would have been late but for the postponement.

Race 1

Racing got under way in 18 knots and a challenging sea state. Up wind some were coping with the big steep and confused chop when others were tested. Keen got to the windward mark 1st, Pelley arriving on port 2nd but had to let Poston round inside with a short hitch to the spacer things were tight. On the downwind leg the difficulties started with fine demonstration of the different ways in which a MUSTO can be capsized. There were low speed trawling with the kite, right up to the high speed pitch pole, even Bruce was caught out.
Poston took the win (pretty good for a pond sailor) then Bruce 2nd and Wright 3rd.

There was a bit of a wait for race 3 due to patrol cover dealing with assisting boats back to shore and search party for Keen.

Race 2 was sailed in slightly less wind but still very testing Bruce 1st, Pelley 2nd and Poston 3rd.

Race 3 saw big breeze and increased seas, all but 3 B14ís headed for the beach and it was hard with 7 finishers in the MUSTO fleet.

After a long day of racing the competitors retired for a well-earned rest or to assess the damage the day had brought.

Race 4

Wind conditions were similar to Saturdays racing with average wind speeds of 18-20kts. Pelley (the rubber ball thanks Dan V) showed that being very short for a MUSTO sailor isnít disadvantage as long as you get your maneuverers sorted and rounded 1st with a bit of a lead. Keen and Wright followed (Stokes Bay Golden Shoot Out). Wright went for a swim at the hoist; Pelley went conservative and was over hauled by Bruce by the end of the run. Keen pulled out a lead up the next windward leg, well his World Champion. Pelley didnít give up and by the end of the next run things were back together. The leaders were now well in front and split tacks up the last beat. Keen rounded a few boat lengths 1st then went for another swim at the hoist????? Third place was nowhere to be seen so no need for the kite until after the gybe for Pelley. Keen was now gunning down the run in big breeze with Pelley still leading until a capsize at the drop. Poston used his head and pulled though to leave Bruce 1st, Poston 2nd and Pelley robbed by his own incompetence in 3Rd.

Race 5

Still windy and the fleet further reduced by breakages started, with Pelley and Wright over the line. Pelley went back Wright didnít.

Places changed mainly due to swimming even Keen ending up 2nd last after another swim at the first hoist, this is a weakness Bruce and needs work. Bruce took the win (yawn), Poston 2nd and Molesworth 3rd.

With a bit of delay due to shallow water, even more wind now averaging over 22kts and gusting into the upper twenties, the sailors from Stokes bay headed for home. This left a hard core of 3 Datchet sailors to make up the field for the last race.

Dave Poston continues the tale as the Stokes Bay team ran for cover ....

So it was just the datchet trio of myself, Paul and Sergei left, plus Nigel walbank. It was swims galore, at the first mark it was me, sergei, paul, nigel I think, Nigel went in and lost his mast. I stayed in the lead until the last downwind when I swam with the kite and Sergei got past. However he wussed out going kiteless and I went for it and got past him, rounding the last mark ahead. I then stalled on the last tack and he beat me across the line by a few metres!

Hats off the Datchet Massive for completing all races in what can only be described as BRUTAL conditions.


1 Keen
2 Poston
3 Pelley
4 Sergei
5 Molesworth
6 Wright
7 Walbank
8 Morgan
8 Marshal
10 Lake
11 Wilkinson

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