Musto Skiff

MUSTO Skiff Training at Stokes Bay (GBR) 2016 sponsored by Noble

Report by Ben Schooling

Coaching went well yesterday at Stokes, great conditions until the 29kt squall pitched up! 15 boats out, 10 locals and 5 who traveled.

Stokes Bay Coaching Sat 30th Apr:

5 boats traveled to join the 10 locals for the Noble Marine Sponsored Musto Skiff Coaching at Stokes Bay with Ben Schooling ably assisted by Mike Palfreman. The forecast was for a light NE but the fleet were met by a more steady 8kt Westerly which built through the morning. The session consisted of:

1) Warm up "Pretzel" - all 4 mark roundings with standard hoist and gybe set.
2) Rolling 3,2,1 starts with short upwind to establish lane
3) Follow my leader into upwind tacking on the whistle
4) Re-group and follow my leader into downwind gybing on whistle

Main observations were:

1) Strop length - some were too long meaning boom was off centre-line and unable to hold lane.
2) Windward heel - too much causes boat to slip sideways especially as chop increases - aiming for dead flat boat.

The afternoon session was 3 short 2 lap races. The first two were completed successfully in building breeze up to 15-18 kts but during the third a big squall under a storm cloud suddenly descended with the wind peaking on the club anemometer at 29.7kts! This was timed just as the tide turned so a steep chop kicked up resulting in all boats taking a swim. It was a baptism of fire for George's new boat but fortunately everyone got ashore with minimal damage - Alex made the most of the conditions but still came unstuck on the hoist! Andrew Gould kindly lent his Go-Pro and the edited video is available on his Facebook page. 

As part of the de-brief the fleet discussed how to come ashore safely in such conditions and came up with the following list:

1) When rigging fold up main halyard and strap into 2 bungee loops on mast (rather than tucking into mainsail pocket)
2) Approach beach from upwind / tide on Starboard and prepare to drop mainsail, controls on hard.
3) Put tiller ext in front of trap elastic so can maintain control of direction - tucking under leg
4) Move forward to undo straps and outhall and zip - keep control of boat / may take several attempts
5) Un-tuck main halyard from loops and (optional) through out the side of the boat to ensure it runs out freely
6) Release controls than beast main halyard from cleat and quickly pull the mainsail down - by undoing the outhall it should flow down without "pinching" across the foot of the sail
7) Once sail is down make sure the boom / sail is in the boat then undo shackle and re-attach to lower.
8) Roll main or gather together and loop mainsheet round it to keep it under control
9) As near the beach lift out rudder and then dagger board fully out - be aware boat will become very unstable!
10) Keep the nose pointing at the beach and step out the back of the boat and hold on to the rear bungee or foot loop 
11) Find your (any) trolley, get the boat clear of the water, and relax!

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