|MUSTO Skiff Open 16/17th July 2016 Felpham Sailing Club (GBR)
A huge thanks to Felpham Sailing club for running a great event. Bruce Keen was quoted after racing on Saturday; “Easily the best day on the water this season!”
Report by Ben Schooling
Photos by Tim Olin olinphoto.co.uk Photo Gallery from this event >>>
The Musto Skiff’s arrived at Felpham Sailing Club for the 4th leg of the UK series. 12 boats travelled to join local lad Luke Mapley who borrowed the demo boat which Mark Cooper kindly delivered. The 12 who travelled were blessed with champagne conditions – Bruce Keen was quoted after racing on Saturday; “Easily the best day on the water this season!”
The racing got away promptly at midday in 12-14kts and brilliant sunshine. The fleet enjoyed some very close racing throughout with tiny margins making the difference and mistakes being punished. The added complexity of lobster pots with floating lines and patches of spaghetti sea weed meant the competitors had a lot to contend with!
Race 1 and Dan Kilsby made the most of the favoured left side up the first beat to lead round the windward mark from David Henderson and the chasing pack. Mr Keen showed his devastating pace to overhaul the Dan’s on the next lap to take the win. Race 2 was similar with Keen, Henderson and Kilsby taking the top 3 slots after Andy “Turbo” Tarboton had to restart from an individual recall. Race 3 and Tricky Dicky Smith won the pin end and read the port layline perfectly to lead round the windward mark. Keen and Henderson had the upper hand by the finish with Tricky holding onto 3rd. An unusual 4th race was scheduled but with the breeze building to 16kts and the sun still shining nobody minded the aching muscles! Off the start line Dan Henderson spotted the turning tide and tacked off inshore and had a healthy lead by the windward but with the fleet chasing hard. On the final run Henderson just overcooked the layline allowing Keen overhaul and round out the perfect day with 4 bullets.
Sunday and the breeze was from a similar SW direction but only 6-7kts at the 10:30 start time. The tide, still flooding at the start caught the majority of the fleet out so after a general recall the black flag was out. The restart got away cleanly and the fleet split with the inshore side initially looking favoured. A left hand shift half way up the beat saw Alex Knight arrive at the windward with a convincing lead which he maintained to the finish. Keen managed to fight back to 2nd with Schooling just getting the better of Tarboton, Henderson and Kilsby for 3rd. Race 6 and the breeze had built to 8-10kts and stabilized. It was a battle of the Dan’s off the start with Henderson leading from Kilsby at the windward. By the finish Henderson had extended to take the win from Schooling and Keen with Kilsby slipping back to 4th.
The final race and Alex Knight fancied his chances at a port flyer but only made it half way across the fleet before having to tack off. At the windward Keen led from Schooling with Henderson in 3rd and the results remained unchanged to the finish. Congratulation to Bruce Keen on a convincing victory recording 5 bullets after discards with Henderson a solid 2nd and Schooling a narrow 3rd on countback from Kilsby.
A huge thanks to Felpham Sailing club for running a great event. The club volunteers made a fantastic effort with shore teams and catering staff and the fleet felt very well looked after and would love to come back in the future. Special thanks also to PRO Tom Rusbridge and his team for running a highly efficient series of races. The prompt starts and slick turnaround meant that it was probably the best ever ratio of on the water time to time spent actually racing!
I look forward to seeing you all at the Nationals in Scotland.
Full results >>>>