Musto Skiff

10 reasons why I chose to race a MUSTO Skiff: Bookmark and Share

10 reasons why I chose to race a MUSTO Skiff: by Ben Schooling

1. I’d been sailing the RS800 for 8 consecutive seasons with 3 different crew / helm partnerships and I was basically looking for a new challenge. I was struggling to train regularly (if at all) with my crew George Kingsnorth and wanted to do more sailing. I might add the RS800 is still a great class and I’ve returned to compete at the Nationals and Garda the last couple of years and aim to continue to do so.

2. A couple of my best mates (Jamie Hilton and Ian Martin) had moved into the MUSTO and had been racing for a couple of seasons, really enjoying it and speaking very highly of it. They really sold the boat and class as whole to me.

3. One of my concerns was my weight (well size in general) at 74kgs and 5’10 I didn’t think I would be man enough to swing it down in 20kts! The MUSTO has a reputation for being a bit of a handful and my only real exposure to the class was big Dave Poston Wed night racing at Datchet! The appeal of “bulking up” and try and get to 80kgs for the 2012 Worlds was also an appeal for me.

4. The flexibility of a single hander also really appealed. I can be from dinghy park to water in 20 min, less if I leave the kite rigged but we don’t do that anymore since the mice at Datchet like to make their nests out of spinnakers! Even a 1 hour sailing session on your own is worth it, 10 short upwind/downwind legs with 5 tacks and gybes really hones the skills.

5. We’re lucky to have a fantastic training ethic at our club, “Team Datchet” was established in the run up to the 2012 Worlds at Weymouth where a group email (and now whatsapp group) ensures that we synchronised our training and got all available boats on the water at the same time. We now have 14 skiffs having pulled people from as far afield as Whitstable (Serega) and Bristol (Jason) based on the reputation of the training. Datchet wouldn’t be my first choice of training venue but on the plus side we can sail in pretty much any wind conditions!

6. I guess it is human nature wanting to broaden your skill set and master new techniques and the MUSTO Skiff certainly provides the opportunity to do that! The fleet is sailed by like minded individuals who relish the physical challenge whilst dealing the strategic battle of close one design racing. There is a high level of camaraderie in the fleet with a mutual respect for your fellow sailor.

7. The class is fortunate to have a very dedicated committee and builder with a vested interest in the promotion and development of the class. No other fleet I’m aware of has a demo boat for giving potential new members a taster session in the boat before they buy. The class website has a very professional layout and structure which demonstrates the outlook of the fleet.

8. The appeal and popularity of the boat means the resale value is very high. Although the outlay to join the class can be high, it can be a savvy investment with well looked after 2nd hand boats being like gold-dust and fetching a high price when they do become available.

9. The World Sailing status of the class offers opportunities to race overseas and meet people of wide nationalities which is great fun. It also means sailing at some fantastic venues, over the last 3 years I’ve competed in France, Austria, Slovenia, Scotland and Australia and will add Germany and Italy to the list in the year ahead.

10. The high build quality means that maintenance is low so limited leisure time is spent doing boat work … we just go sailing!

What would you add to this?


Many of the above reasons can be seen below :-)


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