MUSTO Skiff Open at Rutalns SC - 23-24 March 2019
Report by Jason Rickards
Photos by Tim Olin http://olinphoto.co.uk/index.php/2019/03/24/rutland-sailing-club-skiff-open-2019/
Well here it was, the first circuit event of the season! The event was held at Rutland Water and sponsored by Harken. Didn’t it ever come around quick?
The forecast for the weekends’ event was not great and, really, no-one was expecting anything special, but dam was we wrong. If there was ever a time where the saying ‘a bad forecast always ruined a good days sailing’ was appropriate it was this weekend! As always some very keen sailors turned up Friday to get a sneaky sail in, some might say this was cheating 😊
With the forecast in mind we had a very good turnout. A total of 18 boats attended the event - 2 more than last year. Also, there were a few new faces which proves the appeal for the boat is still alive. On the Saturday morning the boat park was buzzing. A lot of ‘no I haven’t sailed much’ drifted cross the dingy park, this being the code for covering yourself just encase of a bad event. With the forecast on the backs of everyone’s mind this event had the making of real snakes and ladders, and the first day really could’ve been anyone’s.
As everyone rigged we watched the wind fill in to a gentle 5-9 knots in the direction somewhere in the north west - just enough to make the day exciting.
Race 1; this race was definitely a hero to zero race. To begin boats heading out left looked like they held on out there too long but there was not of pressure over the boats that went right, even though they looked famous! Well it turned out that those who held their nerve to the left came out on top. The lefties got to the top mark first while those right siders got stuck… see snakes and ladders….
Jack Gorgan, who I am sure was one of the people who said ‘I haven’t sailed since god knows’ managed to pick the shifts (and miss the snakes) nailing the first race and claiming 1st spot followed by Ian Trotter in 2nd and Peter Greenhalgh in 3rd
Race 2; was much the same story as the first race. Light, shifty and a game of spot the breeze. Whoever managed to link it all together would take it. Tim Rodgers a newcomer to the fleet showing his big boat skills lead for 2 laps only to get smacked by a huge shift. This gave Andy Tarboton (turbo) his first race win after a disappointing first race by his standards. Peter Greenhalgh followed taking 2nd place, an improvement to race 1 and scrappy Jason Rickards showed winter sailing a Chew Valley Lake was definitely worth it snunk in a 3rd place result.
Race 3; with everyone starting to feel the leg burn due to the low winds, we were glad this was the last race of the day. The 3rd race was much the same as the first 2 and now the top boats where finding their feet. Andy Tarboton took 1st place with Peter Greenhalgh showing that all his practice efforts over the winter is paying off taking 2nd. Ian trotter, a long serving MUSTO sailor, grabbing 3rd.
With 3 points separating the top 3 it was heating up to be a very good Sunday.
You may be wondering what happened to the Stokes Bay lot? You remember the excuse I have mentioned a couple of times? ‘I haven’t sailed much this winter’ Well we have all seen the winter coaching videos which may differ.
So after a hard days sailing it was off to the Wheatsheaf pub organised by the quiz master himself Dan Vincent. Lots of food and a few beers were enjoyed while chatting about the days’ events and the lack of Stokes Bay sailors at the top of the results sheet – a personal highlight 😊
Carry on reading and you will find out what happens on big Sunday.
As we all woke up looked outside we could to tell it was going to be a great day, the sun was shining, birds were singing and best of all breeze was building! The forecast was saying 10-15 but in our bones we knew it was going to be a tad more and I tell you what, we were not wrong.
In building breeze the race officer set the line in the middle of the lake. This saw us sent up into the other side of the island. It was very gusty and shifty and the breeze was getting stronger. It was going to be a day of spot the shifts up wind and then try to hook in to huge gust down wind. Linking all this up in the first race of the day was Dan Trotter, although not really featuring in day one Dan managed to get 1st place and, to make it a family affair, Ian Trotter came in 2nd. Andy Tarborton keeping it consistent, came in 3rd. The overnight leader Pete Greenhalgh had a bad a race coming in 9th. This meant that Andy Tarboton was now 1st in the standings… but was all still to play for.
Race 2; breeze still building and gusts getting bigger this made the downhill part pretty exciting but with what seemed to be even bigger holes!
Andy Tarboton nailed this one to take a 1st.. Dan Trotter who had some serious pace in the breeze came in 2nd followed in by Peter Greenhalgh in 3rd - keeping the pressure on Andy Tarboton
Race 3; Was the race that Someone from Stokes Bay, other than Andy Tarboton, featured. After all, they have put so much effort in over the winter it would be a real shame not to see them perform. It was Dan Vincent who worked out the shifts and used his lever like body to swing his MUSTO Skiff down in the breeze, bringing it home in 1st place. Followed by another strong performance from Andy Tarboton who took 2nd with Ian Trotter in 3rd proving age is but a number. With Peter Greenhalgh coming it 4th he had a strong weekend but not quite enough, with Andy Tarboton taking 1st overall.
Top 4 overall:
1st Andy Tarboton
2nd Peter Greenhalgh
3rd Ian Trotter
4th Jason Rickards
Massive thanks to Rutland SC for a super event and the race management was second to none !!!
Next round is at Stokes Bay SC, this event had 47 boats last year and with the worlds coming up this is definitely the event to go and test your skills against some of the best in the world.
see you there ;-)