|MUSTO Skiff Open 2016 Stone Sailing Club (GBR) 1-2 October.
Report by Mike Palfreman
Photos by Tim Olin olinphoto.co.uk Photo Gallery from this event >>>
22 boats attended the Musto Skiff Open Meeting at Stone Sailing Club proving that the post worlds travelling hangover that has afflicted some of the fleet is well and truly over. On arrival the sailors were greeted with barely a ripple on a flat calm Blackwater River but thankfully by the time racing started there was a shifty 7-12 knot South Westerly breeze.
Wise heads Serega Samus and Nigel Walbank led the first race, helped in their quest by some shortened course flag confusion further back in the fleet. It transpired that there hadn't been one and Samus and Walbank pressed on holding their 1st and 2nd positions to the finish. Andy Tarboton came in 3rd heading up the group who had taken an impromptu rest.
Dan Kilsby's perfectly timed port tack flyer just across the bows of a starboarding Tarboten (captured perfectly by Tim Olin's event photos) set the scene for 2nd race and a large left hand shift meant he sailed off relatively untroubled into the distance. Tarboton was starting to put together a solid series with a second and Mike Palfreman successfully cheated the tide to climb into 3rd place by the finish.
Palfreman led the 1st lap of the final race on Saturday but was passed on either side up the second beat. Tarboton improved by another place to take the win, with Dan Henderson second and Dave Poston coming in third.
After racing the fleet relocated to the club for a couple of beers and then to Burnham for a curry. An excellent night was had by all apart from the poor downtrodden waiter who was berated for forgetting Jon Simpson's food.
Sunday dawned and wind wise at least was a complete contrast to the previous day with 12-20 knots + in the gusts. Richard Smith and Dave Rickard posted their best results of the weekend with second places in the 5th and 6th races respectively and a special mention to Dan Henderson who won the 4th race in GBR4, comfortably the oldest boat in the fleet. Local sailor Dan Dixon from nearby Blackwater, returning to the fleet after a few years off had two superb bullets in races 5 and 6 in the most testing conditions of the weekend.
Andy Tarboton continued his rock solid performance into the Sunday and with two fourth places went back to shore nursing a broken spreader bracket. This was enough to win the weekend from Dan Kilsby who could only manage a 7th in the final race. Mike Palfreman sneaked into third with a steady but unspectacular set of results.
Thanks to the race committee and all the volunteers from Stone SC who worked together to ensure a great weekend for the sailors...next event is the Inlands at Grafham on the 5/6th November.
Full results >>>>