GBR Inland Championships 2012
Report : Bruce Keen
It was great to see 40 MUSTO Skiffs turn
out for the Ovington Boats Inlands at Grafham Water,
the sun shone, although thigh-burning conditions were
prevalent for the entire weekend with conditions no
more than 10 knots.
The skiffs were too keen to get away in the first race
and the black flag came out after the first general
recall and was used for the rest of the weekend to keep
the fleet in check. Daniel Henderson, back from his
sabbatical in the 49er, took two well deserved race
wins on Saturday to show that he hadnít lost any of
his speed. 49er Olympic campaigner, Alain Sign has recently
bought a boat and clearly been practising, taking a
race win at his first MUSTO event, with Bruce Keen also
taking a win.
Most sailors struggled to stay consistent in these conditions
with only Dan and Ben Schooling managing to keep all
4 races in the top 10. The racing was made more difficult
by the fact that twenty-one 49ers were sailing on the
same course and in these conditions are only slightly
faster than the MUSTO, making mark roundingís and tactics
with 60 boats quite challenging.
Temperatures dropped below freezing on
Sunday night, meaning that anyone who had unwisely left
wet sailing kit in their boat had to thaw them out before
attempting to put them on! Luckily the sun was out,
so that the cool air temperatures weren't noticed once
on the water.
Richard Stenhouse took the first race win of the day,
with Nigel Walbank taking the second race and Jamie
Hilton the final race. Dan Henderson's consistency paid
off and he took the overall title with Richard Stenhouse
second and Bruce Keen third.
Iain Morton won the furthest travelled
prize having driven 11 hours south to Grafham from his
beautiful Scottish home club.
The class continues to attract younger
sailors and it was good to see some of the youngsters
pushing the regulars. Gavin Page finished 16th overall
just behind Ben Clegg in 15th and Dan Trotter in 11th.
The Inland Championships was also the
finale to the southern area travellers with Jamie Hilton
winning the 2012 series from Bruce Keen and Ben Schooling
and taking home the MUSTO Skiff half model
trophy presented by class international secretary Paul
Observations from the weekend:
- Going up the middle of the course doesn't work. Be
brace, pick a side and commit.
- Olympic campaigners are very good sailors, but clearly
don't venture into pubs too often.
Thanks to Ovington Boats, MUSTO, Harken,
Orange Mountain Bikes and Allen for sponsoring the event
and to Grafham Water Sailing Club for hosting us.