ACO 8th MUSTO Skiff World Championship 2017
Club Nàutic S’Arenal (Bahía de Palma, Spain)
27th May 2017
Report by Rick Perkins
Media RIB driven by Paul Manning
Photos by Bernardi Bibloni Bigas www.bernardibibiloni.com
Event Title Sponsor: http://www.aco.com/
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Today was the day of the pre-worlds practice races. At 11:30 Ferran Muniesa from Club Nàutic S’Arenal welcomed the fleet at the competitor briefing held at the beach bar in the glorious Mallorcan sunshine ... as per usual the weather didn't behave as expected and so there was a short delay ashore whilst the wind conditions stabilised on the bay to permit racing.
In the meantime Russ Clark's coaching sessions, sponsored by ACO, continued as he helped competitors both experienced and less so to develop their skills and knowledge ahead of the regatta.
At about 2pm the fleet launched in an off shore wind; every one was expecting the classic sea breeze however today we have something different and all the racing was to be held in an off-shore breeze which averaged 10 knots but there were significant differences in both pressure and direction around the average and this gave plenty of opportunity to gain places; and of course to lose them too ...
The first race got away with an individual recall; Andy Tarboton (RSA) at the committee boat end was soon bearing away to re-start judging his efforts a perhaps a little punchy ... this left Frithjof Schwerdt(GER) as the best positioned of the committee boat end boats as the fleet headed up the first beat.
There was a significant spread as competitors worked both sides of the beat and at the end of the day it wasn't one side that paid but rather those who made the most of the gusts and lifts.
At the first windward mark it was Daniel Trotter (GBR) leading from Frithjof Schwerdt (GER) chased by Roger Oswald (SUI). A large group followed the leading trio as the fleet charged down the run in a phase of greater pressure. Daniel Trotter (GBR) continued to defend the lead in difficult conditions and held on to the finish with Frithjof Schwerdt (GER) in second and Andi Lachenschmid (GER) third having taken advantage of the errors by Andy Peake (GBR) and Ian Trotter (GBR) who unnecessarily sailed through the downwind gate on the way to the finish; we are sure they will have read the sailing instructions by the time the worlds starts ...
The race team did a fantastic job of turning the second race around and this time the fleet got away cleanly with again the wind speed at around 10 knots but with some significant holes and gusts ...
At the first windward mark it was not clear who would lead as the groups on the left and right both looked good at times but in the final metres it was the boats coming in from the right that benefited with David Annan (GBR) and Andy Peake (GBR) leading with a bit of a gap behind.
Both boats gybed off as the chasing bunch came through on a nice bit of pressure and as such gained significant ground and at the leeward mark, Andy Peake (GBR) was leading but David Annan (GBR) had been overhauled by Daniel Trotter (GBR), Frithjof Schwerdt (GER) and Justo Martinez (ESP).
The next beat was more challenging than the first with bigger pressure changes and shifts ... and so at the finish Frithjof Schwerdt (GER) had taken the win with a significant margin from Daniel Trotter (GBR) and class chairman Iver Ahlmann(GER) in third.
This leaves both Frithjof Schwerdt( GER) and Daniel Trotter (GBR) both scoring a first and a second which is impressive in such variable conditions. On tie break Frithjof Schwerdt (GER) takes the win from Daniel Trotter (GBR) with Andi Lachenschmid (GER) third.
Tonight the fleet will enjoy a prize giving and buffet on the beach ...
Tomorrow there is no racing as the equipment inspection and registrations are finalised ahead of the first day of racing to be held on Monday; 3 races are scheduled.
Thanks to event sponsors ACO and thank you to Club Nàutic S’Arenal who have started the event with great professionalism.
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