HARKEN 2016 MUSTO Skiff GBR Nationals: (Largo Bay Sailing Club)
Thursday 11th August 2016 to Sunday 14th August 2016
Report by Rick Perkins / Paul Manning
Photos Tim Olin http://olinphoto.co.uk/
It's great to be back in Scotland once again, with a warm welcome from Largo Bay Sailing Club.
Race 1 got away after a general recall, with the leaders coming in from the right including Dan Kilsby, Dan Trotter and Alex Knight.
The breeze was stable in direction and around 12-15knots but with gusts up to 20knots which allowed for changes throughout the fleet downwind.
Dan Trotter pulled through to take the win from Knight and Kilsby in 3rd.
Race 2 required a slight course shortening and the fleet got away at the first go, with the right side of the course again paying. Leader at the windward mark was Neil Ashby, closely followed by Dave Poston. Again, the downwind tactics were where places could be gained and lost. Poston held on to take the win from Ian Trotter and Neil Ashby.
The last race of the day got away promptly after the finish of race 2. This time it was newcomer to the class, Fynn Sterritt, who rounded the weather mark first followed by a group including Poston, both Trotters and UK class chairman Ben Schooling.
Sterritt held on up the second upwind leg but was finally overhauled by Poston with Schooling taking 3rd.
The class are very grateful to our nationals sponsors Harken and the event support from Chris Turner of Ovington Boats.
The fleet were very well looked after by the Largo Bay shore team and are looking forward to tonight's Commodores Reception at the Old Manor Hotel.
The forecast was spot on, and the expected weather system rolled in overnight, with sailors arriving to an AP over A, (no sailing today).
The fleet set off for a day of visiting the Edinburgh Festival, or touring around the beautiful Fife Peninsula ending up at the world famous Royal and Ancient in St. Andrews, anyone for golf?
Largo Bay Sailing Club are hosting the fleet this evening at Durham Hall followed by the AGM.
On some days you try to put in writing what an epic day you had, but what you write never quite does it justice and today was one of those days at Largo Bay Sailing Club.
I think it can best be summed up when I walked across to Jamie Hilton and the both of us simultaneously burst out laughing knowing exactly what each other was thinking...
PRO Donald Aitken and his club team have done another excellent job both on the race course and ashore and put together 3 superb races in a growing breeze, which topped out at 31 knots.
The fleet got away at the first go for each race and without doubt every sailor had a memorable story to tell of an exhilarating day on the water, exactly what the class was designed to do!
For the record
race 4 : Dan Trotter took the win from Andy Tarboton with Neil Ashby in 3rd
race 5 : Jono Shelley took the win from Fynn Sterritt with Dan Dixon in 3rd.
race 6 : Matt Holden took the win from Alex Knight with Dan Kilsby in 3rd.
No-one managed 2 top 3 results in what is a very tight fleet.
As the fleet returned ashore the Largo Bay team recovered all the boats quickly and as the boats were pulled up the beach the tired sailors returned to help their class mates with many hands making light work.
The rest of the afternoon will be spent with sailors recovering before they head out for more legendary Largo hospitality at a BBQ.
Tomorrow is the final day and the forecast looks to be lighter, with a further racing scheduled there will be new a champion for the class.
Overnight leader is Dan Trotter on 21 points, followed by Alex Knight on 25 who is pursued by Dave Poston and Fynn Sterritt on 26 so we have 4 competitors separated by 5 points. With the forecast looking lighter there could be further changes in the leaderboard on the final day.
The final day of the Harken Musto Skiff Nationals Championships dawned with considerable contrast to the big foam-up of yesterday. The breeze was a gentle 4-8 knots.
The fleet launched and the first start went off on time but the fleet were even more eager to get away and there was a series of general recalls.
The breeze then shifted requiring a course reset and then the fleet got away under U flag.
Nicolas Duchoud (SUI) found the lighter winds much more to his liking and lead the fleet at the first windward mark with a tight pack in hot pursuit.
At the end of the first lap Duchould held his lead from championship contenders Alex Knight and Ian Trotter chased by Rick Perkins.
This race was the first 3 lapper of the series and there was plenty of place changing but Duchoud held on to take the win.
In the battle for the title Knight's 2nd gave him a one point advantage ahead of Ian Trotter and Dan Trotter had conceded a bit of ground finishing in 8th.
Advantage had now swung to Knight but the title was well short of decided.
The second race of the day got away under U flag and a weakening breeze. 2 laps were set.
As the fleet approached the end of the first windward there were a series of substantial shifts and gusts requiring quick thinking from the sailors. Paul Molesworth was first round chased by Alistair Conn.
Amongst the championship contenders Ian Trotter was ahead of Alex Knight with Dan Kilsby moving into the mix with Dan Trotter back in the pack.
In the light breeze it was key to keep your head out of the boat and spot the shift and gusts.
There was a fair bit of place changing on the following legs and the championship was open until the very end.
At the finish Alistair Conn took the win from Dan Kilsby with Nigel Wallbank in third.
However all eyes were on the positions of the overall contenders and Alex Knight finished in 6th which was enough to give him the championship by 8 points from a late charging Dan Kilsby who took second overall with Dan Trotter in third.
The club and association then worked promptly to put the prize giving on quickly to allow the fleet to start the journey home.
The class would like to extend their sincere thanks to Largo Bay Sailing Club who have extended a legendary welcome to the class, the club members have pulled out all the stops catering for the fleet, hosting some great social events, and the best shore team we have ever benefitted from. The race management has been faultless so the club should be most proud of their efforts and the class would certainly like to visit again in the future.
The class would also like to thank regatta sponsor Harken, class sponsor Musto and event technical support from Chris Turner of Ovington Boats.
The next event for the fleet will be the Ovington Boats 40th anniversary regatta to be hosted at Derwent Water Reservoir in two weeks time.
Full results >>>