GBR EuroCup Leg
1 Stokes Bay Sailing Club 2016
Report by Mike Palfreman
Photos by Tim Olin olinphoto.co.uk Photo Gallery from this event >>>
GBR EuroCup Leg 2
Venue : Stokes Bay Sailing Club
Date: 16-17 April
Stokes Bay Open 16/17 April 2016
Shared with the 4000’s, RS800’s and B14’s 32 Musto Skiffs boats entered the Stokes Bay open making a fantastic total of almost 80 boats across all four fleets. It was difficult to put your finger on what the conditions were exactly on Saturday but it was something along the lines of a shifty North Westerly 5-12 knots offshore.
The first race pretty much set the scene for the weekend with ex and current world champions Dan Henderson and Bruce Keen getting a 1,2 and George Hand taking 3rd. The wind dropped slightly in the second race and for once the champions were absent. Ed Wilkinson and Andy Tarboten picked their way carefully up the first beat to lead at the windward mark before Mike Palfreman sailed through downwind an then away to a comfortable win in spite of an absent minded capsize with everyones favourite Norweigian Jamie Hilton in 2nd. Dan Kilsby came through for a steady 3rd with the champs languishing in 4th and 5th, possibly distracted by their imminent committee boat based handbag swap at the start of the 3rd and 4th races which saw two bullets for Dan and two seconds for Bruce.
In between races 3 and 4 however was Saturday night which comprised a fantastic curry from the Stokes Bay galley and another memorable Dan Vincent quiz. Something live long in the memory and some things get forgotten…but sadly it is not possible to unsee things, such as Jamie Hilton’s Freddie Mercury personation.
Back to the 4th race and relative newcomer (Musto Skiff owner for about 6 /7 weeks) Andy Tarboten added a very concerning, for the rest of the fleet at least given his short time in the fleet, 3rd to an already consistent scoreline to steadily climb the leaderboard. Josh Belben, another newbie (and a young, lightweight one at that) also had his best race of his first open with a 7th.
With Bruce and Dan taking a 2,4 in the 5th race they were now the only two sailors who could win the open. Ben Schooling chose this moment to give the fleet a lesson in shifty sailing skills winning by a country mile and Andy looking ever more threatening with another 3rd.
The wind showed no sign of settling down for the 6th and final race and as a result no one quite knew what was going on tactics wise. In the event Dan won final race and open, Richard Pelley and Ed Wilkinson getting their best results with a 2nd and 4th respectively finishing either side of Mike in 3rd.
Big thanks to MUSTO for the excellent prizes and to SBSC for hosting the event.