MUSTO Skiff Open Datchet Water Sailing Club 14-15 May 2016 (GBR)
New boy, Tarboton, takes the win in the worlds build up ....
Report by Dan Kilsby
Photos by Tristan Beckett
23 Musto Skiffs were met by glorious sunshine as we congregated at Datchet Water Sailing Club for the third round of the UK Circuit. With the world championships in just three weeks the sailors were keen to hone their racing skills! Six fun races were held in 3 – 15 knots of wind with some very entertaining shifts. It was quite common to see two boats within a few boat lengths of each other going the same direction - but on opposite tacks! This made consistency and keeping a cool head the name of the game; it was never over until the line!
Chris Webber was quick out of the blocks in the first race and, despite not having set foot in a Musto Skiff for 9 months, pulled out an impressive lead which he held to the finish. Relative Musto Skiff new comer Andy Tarboton sailed a clever race to beat Jason Rickards into 2nd and 3rd. Ben Schooling dominated the next race leading Tarboton and Dan Kilsby home. Schooling also won the 3rd race despite Kilsby and Alex Knight chasing him hard.
Sunday started with slightly less wind but the same perfect sunshine. Dave Poston picked some blinding shifts and gusts to win the fourth race comfortably from Tarboton and Kilsby. The wind swung and increased to around ten knots for the fifth race. This gave Mike Palfreman a chance to show the fleet how to hook into some nice gusts and took the win. Knight was second and the ever consistent Tarboton was third. A lot rested on the final race as almost everyone had a few big scores that they wanted to discard!
Everyone’s favourite Scottish / Norwegian expat, Jamie Hilton, linked the gusts together nicely, whilst avoiding the worst of the lulls, to end his regatta on a high. Kilsby followed him home for second with Tarboton narrowly escaping the black flag to round off the day in third.
This gave Andy Tarboton his first Musto Skiff open meeting win after only being in the class for a few months - definitely one to watch at the worlds! Mike Palfreman’s consistent score line, and fifth race bullet, was enough to squeeze out Dan Kilsby on count back to take second place.
Datchet Water Sailing club did a great job organising a slick event. The PRO and his team deserve particular credit for running six races in tricky conditions with quick turnarounds and excellent communication with the fleet.
It is now three weeks until the Musto Skiff World Championships in the beautiful Carnac, France. There has been an influx of new sailors into the class and with many getting up to speed with incredible ease. There have already been three different event winners in the Eurocup and three different event winners in the UK series this year. Chuck in the ever competitive Ozzies, a generous handful of past world champions and this looks like it could be one of the tightest world championships for some time. With almost 100 boats expected, now is the time to get your entry in and enjoy a week’s worth of glamour high performance racing, moule frites, ice cream and un petit peu de biere in the sun!
Incomplete results - sorry; will update when full results are available. (click to make bigger)