Musto Skiff

Ovington Boats GBR Inland Championships 2012 Bookmark and Share

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 Manning.

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.

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