21 MUSTO Skiffs competed in Kiel Woche 2015 from the 25th-28th June. We were treated to first class race management, amazing organisation on and off the water and fantastic German hospitality.
ACO generously offered free accommodation to all MUSTO Skiff sailors and their families which made the event even more affordable for the travelling competitors from six nations.
Thursday dawned with a light offshore breeze. The MUSTO fleet were sharing the closest course with the RS800s which ensured a short sail out to the race area. Ben Schooling (GBR) signalled his intent by scoring a 1, 2, 1 in the shifty breeze to lead the fleet. Iver Ahlmann (GER) posted a 2, 1, 5 to just squeeze out the consistent Alistair Conn (GBR) 3, 3, 3. After the racing the fleet enjoyed the carnival atmosphere by knocking back a few (!) 1 euro beers, brätwurst and ice cream!
Friday started windless and the race officer posted a 3 hour postponement allowing the fleet to enjoy the local town, the marina side food and drink stalls or just to catch up on sleep. By 14:00 a light sea breeze had filled in and the fleet were back on the water for two races. Ben, Iver and Alistair couldn’t be separated and scored 2, 2, a 3, 1 and a 1, 3 respectively. Other notable performance came from Roger Oswald (SUI) who scored a 4 and a 2 only to find he was OSC in the second race which promoted the Yaroslav Petrov (RUS) (winner of the longest drive to the event!) to 4th.
After the racing the fleet were able to watch back the racing on the big screen and the check the SAP analytics to see where they races had gone right, or wrong! The link to the full replay of the racing is and the highlights of the day in German can be found below
More breeze was on the cards for Saturday and 4 races were held in a patchy 10 - 18 knots. This tested the boat handling of skiff sailors with numerous dunking and swims up and down the fleet. Ben stayed at the top with a consistent 2,2,1,4 and Alistair scored a solid 1,4,4,2 to climb up past lightweight Iver who struggled for pace a little in the stronger patches. More breeze and plenty of snakes and ladders allowed a few different faces to come to the top of the fleet with Paul Dijkstra (NED) having a great day by winning the second race and then finishing a consistent 3rd in the final two races. Dan Kilsby (GBR) also enjoyed some of his best results posting a 3rd in the first race and then found a blinding lift to win the final race of the day.
Glorious blue skies and an oscillating (some would say patchy and shifty!) 5 - 15 knots breeze treated the fleet to some of the best sailing of the week. The fleet were filmed again and the fanatic footage and commentary can be found below. Things were very close at the top with Ben, Iver and Alistair still all in the hunt for the top spot. These three again showed they were the class acts by consistently finishing at the top of the pack. Ben had scored an 8, 3, 3, 4, Iver an excellent 1, 2, 2, 2 and Alistair putting on a late charge scoring 2, 4, 1, 1. This meant that Ben had secured his first Kiel Woche event win by one point from Alistair who in turn was only 3 points ahead of Iver.
Other excellent performances throughout the day came from John Evan (GBR) who came 3rd in the first (and only untelevised!) race of the day and Junis Ringermann (GER) who scored a 4th and 5th in the first races. Roger sailed very consistently in the tricky conditions to post a 7, 1, 4, 3 which was enough for him to take 4th place overall from Dan who ended up fifth overall in his first Kiel Woche.
Many thanks go to the race officer and the whole organisational team who put on a slick and well organised regatta, getting in 13 races in the tricky conditions. The SAP analytics (link below) and professional footage and commentary make Kiel Woche a very special event to race in with almost all sailors getting their moment on the big screen at some point (for the right or wrong reasons!)
The next Eurocup event for the MUSTO Skiffs is the UK nationals in Paignton on 9-12th July. This already looks like it will be the second biggest MUSTO Skiff event in the world in 2015 with great big fleet racing on the English Rivera, not to mention great training for the World Championships in Lake Garda in September.