MUSTO Skiff 2019 GBR Inland Championships- 26-27 October 2019.
Report by Peter Greenhalgh;
Photos by Tim Olin
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The weather came good on Saturday with a wind range of 7 to 26knots And 180 degree shift range. The race officer placed the windward mark in the Reeds of the windward shore so this made it nice and easy for us to hoist our kites but the final approach to the windward somewhat precarious !
On top of that we shared our race course with the VX ones and 505’s which at times were in the mix making for some difficult decision making / boat handling for the Mustos at times.
3 lap races for the first 2 races where Rich Pelley and Dan consistently shone at the front.
I joined them on the occasional lap but generally wasn’t good enough at keeping the mast pointing in the sky . Local Grafham sailor Dave Annan showed us it was fairly simple by consistently coming from the right and sailing 3 good races.
Race 3 was a little interesting as the lead 3 boats ended up in 4 knots of wind only 100 metres away from 25knots and 180degree windshift which took its time to arrive which allowed the tactical genius Paulo to sail through under fleet take the right hand turn and broad reach to the windward mark . With Dan trotter boat handling his way into second i attempted to roll him on the new reaching leg and got hit by a gust and blew over like a total beginner .
The whole fleet reached off but ended up high on the mark because of the huge Right shift this subsequently left some opportunity for those who were stupid enough to try and hoist their kites. Dan T. Successfully got him self safely round what was the windward mark in second and I with zero sea man ship gybed inside the fleet on the windward mark dropping frantically on the spreader leg which seem to land me back in 4th by some miracle !
Race officer shorten on that next leg which saw Paulo take a solid race win, Dan 2nd and Rich 3rd .
Dan over night leader with a 2,1,2 and rich on his tail 1,2,3 . The rest of the fleet a little adrift but some solid sailing from local club member Dave Annan and also Dave P.
Sunday : sun was out wind was a pleasant 7 to 12knots with a good part of the lake to race in . It was however a heavily favoured right hand track so anyone that got right early off the start came good and the harder you hit it the better you were off. Dan T. Had this nicely worked out winning the committee boat end and getting a tack in early which saw him lead at the top in the first 2 races closely chased by Dave P, Stuart, Dave Annan and myself . There were a couple of occasions where Dan was closed down and only led by a matter of metres but he quickly got the boat lined up with some favourable wind and defended his lead well !
Rich Pelley appeared to have lost some form in the first 2 races but then bounced back hard with an impressive lead in the last race only to choke on the last gybe and allow Dan T and myself to slip by . Rich had done enough to secure second and Dan had a very impressive score sheet with 1’s and 2’s winning the Inland Championships in well deserved fashion !!
The race for 4th overall was quite the battle with Dave Annan showing he was quite at home on his home waters and sailed another solid day to hold off the charge from Dave P that had an unlucky capsize in a crucial race against Dave A .
We had a new face in the fleet with Dave Hivey a highly accomplished moth sailor showing us a huge improvement from Saturday to Sunday and the clear potential that it won’t be long before he’s at the front of the fleet . A big thank you to Jason Rickard’s on Saturday for waiting for me in race 1 lap 1 as I capsized to windward, got stuck head to wind and generally floundered in the water desperately trying not to capsize to windward again ! After all that he allowed me to round the mark just in front of him.
Well done to the 23 boats that made the effort and thank you for racing hard and making it a good event . The rest who weren’t there - Come on people ! It was a great weekends racing you missed . Never ever could you relax and lots of place changing.
I look forward to racing you all again next year !
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