Musto Skiff 2017 Rutland Open - 25-26 March 2017.
Report by Dave Poston;
Photos by Tim Olin
24 Mustos gathered at Rutland for a fantastic start to the season - 2 days of sun and wind, and some very close racing!
Race 1 got underway in a 12-15 knots NE breeze, with the sailors unsure which way up the beat would pay. The answer was to sail the shifts and say in pressure - very tricky to get right! Stuart Keegan made the best of it to round the first mark first, closely followed by Alex Knight, Dan Kilsby and Dave Poston. The four fought it out changing places several times, with Dan taking the win from Alex and Dave.
The breeze picked up a little for race 2, which produced a new top 3. After a good fight Dan Trotter took a well earned win followed by George Hand and Tom Wright.
Race 3 was a bit windier still - right in the zone for going flat-out but still racing as hard as possible! George, Dan T, Dan K, Alex, Dave and Tom were all in the mix at the front, with Dave taking the bullet from Dan Trotter and George.
Overnight this left Dave in the lead with 8 pts, Dan K and George tied 2nd with 10 pts, and Dan T on 13pts. As is customary at Rutland, the fleet decanted to the Wheatsheaf pub for a hearty dinner, followed by a few drinks and then a deep sleep!
Sunday dawned a little lighter and shiftier for race 4. Whilst the rest of the fleet struggled with the shifts George Hand cruised away to a large lead, leaving Dan T and Rich Pelley to fight it out for 2nd and 3rd.
In race 5 George made it look easy again as he maintained a race-long lead. The breeze picked up with gusts of 15-18 knots, making for some interesting reaches on the ‘outer loop’ course the mustos were sailing. Choosing when to hoist the kite was key! Dan T and Dave battled it out behind George, swapping places several times as they took turns picking the wrong shifts, with Dan finishing 2nd and Dave 3rd.
In race 6 and a bit more breeze, George proved it wasn’t just luck by getting off to a shaky start and steadily pulling through the fleet, finally overcoming Tom and Alex to take the race win and the series win too.
A big thanks to Rutland for putting on a very smoothly run event, alongside the B14s, Cherubs and RS800s. It was great to experience such close racing right through the fleet which bodes well for the rest of the season!
1st George Hand 8pts
2nd Dan Trotter 11pts
3rd Dave Poston 18pts