Musto Skiff

Boatman Bonanza – Sunderland YC 24/25th Aug 2019

The 9th leg of the GBR MUSTO Skiff Series was part of the Boatman Bonanza hosted by Sunderland YC in memory of Martin Boatman who sadly passed away from cancer. Ian Turnbull and Graham Oliver put in a huge effort to organise and co-ordinate a fantastic weekend both on and off the water with shore side entertainment including a raffle, live band, bouncy castle, cake-sale and beach games all in support of St Benedict’s Hospice. Martin used to race MUSTO’s back in the early days and so a great representation of 22 MUSTO Skiffs joined 30 other boats ranging from Lasers to SB20’s.

As record breaking temperatures were reached for the August Bank Holiday there were mutterings of a sea breeze materialising as the boats rigged in the balmy dinghy park. After an hours postponement the fleet pushed off the beach in a light SE breeze, any hopes of it increasing were sadly quashed as it then faded to a zephyr just prior to the start. After a short delay the breeze filled in again and stabilized at 5-7kts, enough for the PRO to get the start sequence underway.

A heavily favoured port end saw half the fleet caught out as the sequence counted down and on the gun there were 10 boats which made a clean start on port. By the windward mark it was Jamie Hilton who rounded first from Adam Ovington with Schooling and the Trotters in pursuit. By the leeward gate the fleet had compressed and up the next beat Schooling managed to pull through Hilton & Ovington. With the pressure starting to fade Schooling extended his lead and Ian Trotter hooked into a line of pressure to pull through Hilton and the positions remained the same to the finish.

With the wind still unsettled and the tide starting to run the PRO made the wise call to finish racing for the day and the fleet headed ashore for a well-earned pint of shandy or 5 before enjoying the live band and hearty Sunderland hospitality.

Sunday dawned another beautiful day but mirror flat and by 12 noon the race team made the call and the single race stood. With handicap results in place, the MUSTO’s made a strong showing with Hilton 4th, Trotter 3rd and Schooling 1st with the Sunderland YC based SB20 of Lee and Jonny Boatman in 2nd. Despite the racing it was a fantastic weekend with a really special family feeling that was a fitting memorial to Martin.

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