Battle for gold heating up at ACO 10th MUSTO Skiff World Championship 2019
The battle for gold at the ACO 10th MUSTO Skiff World Championship 2019 is heating up in Medemblik, Netherlands. Despite thunderstorms and heavy rainfall on Friday July 12, the race committee managed to get two out of three scheduled races in. Bruce Keen (GBR) won the second bullet, took over the second place overall and closed the gap with Rick Peacock, who is now leading by just one point. Title defender Jon Newman (AUS) also climbed on the leader board. He holds a third place, one point behind Newman and three ahead of George Hand (GBR).
“It is still all to play for tomorrow. It could be some tight racing”, said George Hand on the dock. He and Rick Peacock started this Friday in the two leading spots and showed some close racing that only commenced at 16h30 after the weather had cleared up. Hand: “In the first race both of us were just keeping an eye on each other. In the second race I felt he was doing the same to me, but I managed to have a point between myself and Rick.” Hand finished 11th and 16th, but was not able to hold on to his second position overall, which was taken over by Bruce Keen.
Although Rick Peacock remained in the overall lead, he could not avoid the comeback of Keen and Newman. “In the first race I would have been ok at the top mark, but I tried to hoist before the wing mark, but then I couldn’t make the mark and hit it. I had to drop the kite, do a 360 and that slowed me down. It was quite tricky.” He finished 12th and saw his lead decreasing to only one point ahead of George Hand. “In the second race I had a better start, but not really close enough to the biased end on the left-hand side. I struggled a bit, had a good catch up, but I was not aggressive enough.” That resulted in an 18th position, which became his second discard.
Jon Newman got himself back in the race for gold by finishing third in the second race of the day: “I had a good tussle with Andy [Tarboton] and Bruce [Keen]. We ended up 1-2-3. The conditions were much better for me. The wind had picked up a bit and it was more consistent. The downwind was still difficult, it had holes in it, but it was much better than in the first race. It was very close with Andy on the line.” It was Tarboton who finished second just ahead of Newman. With Keen and Newman closing the gap with Peacock, the heat is on for the final racing day tomorrow. “I hope to have a good time, to get off the start line nicely and don’t do anything silly”, said Peacock.
Newman about this year’s Worlds: “It has been a hard fought championship so far with a couple of extras, which made it fun. It has not just been the few regulars that are usually in the front, but a few more. That is interesting.”
Bad luck for Paul Dijkstra
Dutchman Paul Dijkstra was flying to victory in the first race, which brought him back in the top five overall. He was even in the mix for a podium position until bad luck hit him in the first upwind leg of the second race. “My trapeze hook broke and subsequently my joystick, so I had to replace it by my spare joystick to at least get to the finish. I worked hard for these Worlds, had a good season so far and I am up to speed. I know I can do it, but I do have breakdowns. It is frustrating”, he said. He dropped to an 11th place overall.
Tomorrow will be the decisive day for the podium positions. Four favourites will fight for the medals. Two races are scheduled, but the race committee has the intention to put one more in.
Top five after 11 races and 2 discards:
1. Rick Peacock (GBR), 58 points
2. Bruce Keen (GBR), 59 points
3. Jon Newman (AUS), 60 points
4. George Hand (GBR), 63 points
5. Dan Vincent (GBR), 85 points