Derwent Reservoir MUSTO Skiff Event August 25/26th 2018
Report by Ben Schooling
The alarm went off at 04:40 on Friday morning for our drive from Bournemouth to Guilford to load up the triple trailer. Along with Jason Rickards we boarded the “fun bus” camper van kindly supplied and expertly skippered by Paulo Molesworth and 10 hours later we arrived at Derwent Reservoir. After a quick rig up dodging the showers we enjoyed a well-deserved pint or two and some Northern hospitality in the club house joined by Lord Hilton.
Saturday morning dawned bright and chilly with a gusty and shifty NW breeze filling down the lake. The Scottish Skiff event meant a cracking fleet of 22 MUSTO’s were joined by a local 29er and the 49er of Matty and Jamie Lyons. With a fleet of Lasers and FF15’s running of a concurrent start line for the club regatta it was a tightly packed course and a great effort by the PRO and team!
Four snakes and ladders’ style races ensued in the 7-17kt NW with most of the fleet taking a turn of the lead at some point during the afternoon. At the finish line where it counts however it was Dan Trotter who put his local knowledge to good use to notch up 3x bullets with Alistair Conn the fourth. The travellers could only manage 2nds with Paulo Molesworth, Ben Schooling and Jamie Hilton sharing them out along with Stuart Keegan.
For dinner the fleet headed round to the Punch Bowl pub for some excellent food and banter before returning to the club for the live band and a few more beers / J2O’s and tales of what could have been.
By Sunday morning the breeze had tracked round to the south, built to a punchy 15-25kts and brought the rain with it! Not deterred the fleet pulled on their winter wetsuits and headed out to do battle. Race 5 and it was again Dan Trotter who showed the fleet a clean pair of heels to lead from start to finish with Ben Schooling just pipping Ian for 2nd to prevent a Team Trotter master class. Race 6 and again it was the boy Trotter who took the bullet being chased hard this time by Alistair Conn with Schooling in 3rd. Race 7 and the final one of the weekend and Jamie Hilton finally found his devastating upwind pace to take the bullet from Dan with Alistair again in 3rd.
After 7 great races it was a decisive and well-deserved victory for Dan Trotter with Alistair Conn in second and Ben Schooling in 3rd. The Northern hospitality continued after prize giving with the Derwent Reservoir SC stalwarts holding an excellent dinner back in Durham. A huge thank you to Tom & Kim Conway for organising and putting up most of the travelling contingent.
The fun bus departed Durham with slightly fuzzy heads on Monday morning and were home in time for dinner rounding out one of the best sailing weekends of the year!
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