MUSTO Skiffs at the Lymington Dinghy Weekend 7th-8th July 2018
Report by Richard Pelley;
The weather forecast for the weekend of the 7th and 8th of July looked ideal for sun bathing, but not
at all inspiring for sailing with very light Northerlies predicted. That said, if you are likely to get a true
sea breeze in the Solent, Lymington is a good place to start looking. With this in mind 8 MUSTO sailors
entered the event.
True to the weather forecast the sun was out but the wind pretty much non-existent at the 1115
briefing. Luke McEwan, who helped organize the event, made the introductions and announced that
the sea breeze would come, but didn’t’t commit to its strength.
The plan was to run 4 races on Saturday if conditions allowed and any racing on Sunday would be a
bonus. Shortly after the briefing Luke’s prophecy came to pass. The wind switched from NNE to SSW
and strength increased gradually from 5kts to 10kts for the start of the first race.
The MUSTO’s were on the second start following the D1’s who were taking part in their Nationals.
With only a 3 minute start sequence the MUSTO’s soon started to catch the back end of the D1 fleet
on the first beat with little opportunity to separate on what was a very one-sided course due to the
tide. Off the start everyone, including the D1’s, tacked on to port staying inshore out of the tide. Dan
Kilsby rounded first followed by Rich Pelley then local legend and current National Champion Tom
Wright, the rest scrapping out behind. Down wind was the same story with only one route to the
leeward mark, where the order stayed the same. With a short hitch to sail through the finish line
(see course diagram), we sailed up wind once more and again met the back of the D1 fleet as they
were on a shorter course that had been perfectly set by the race officer to equalize the lap times of
our respective fleets. Kilsby and Pelley sailed slightly further out to sea before tacking onto port to
ensure they had clear air up the beat as they passed the D1’s. They also tacked back onto starboard
slightly past the lay line for the windward mark. This all made perfect sense until Wright reached
over the top of both of them having sailed underneath the whole D1 fleet through all their dirty air
and tacked way past the lay line. Wright went on the win followed by Kilsby, Pelley with rest close
Race 2 followed a very similar pattern (head to the shore off the start, stay out to sea down wind, try
and stay in clean air) except the finishing order. Dan Vincent showed his class with the perfect race,
taking the win by a margin. Wright, Pelley, and Nigel Wallbank finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4threspectively.
Much the same again with the breeze up a couple of knots. Finishing order Vincent 1st, Pelley 2nd,
Wright 3rd, Kilsby 4th.
At this stage the front runners in the event were obvious, but there was little room for error as those
new to the fleet were not far off the pace. Small mistakes were costly with little chance of recovery
as everyone on the course had similar boat speed.
Pelley thought he saw more wind out to sea and the tide was beginning to slacken, therefore he
decided to try the offshore route to the windward mark and as it turned out he forced Wright,
Kilsby, and Vincent the same way. It didn’t’t pay and Mike Dencher led round the mark, closely
followed by the rest of the fleet. The lead changed hands many times during this race with Wright
taking the win, Dencher 2nd Vincent 3rd.
Once on shore we were met with tea and doughnuts at the sign off desk. This is a sure way to make
tired sailors remember to sign off. Food was served at Lymington Town Sailing Club later that
Racing was postponed indefinitely, but true to form the sea breeze kicked in at 1230, this time
building to a max of 18kts.
In short, a repeat of previous, we won’t dwell on various uncharacteristic boat handling issues of
Dan Kilsby. After a few choice words with himself he was ready for the final race.
The usual suspects raced to the first mark in breeze gusting to 18kts. Kilsby 1st, Vincent 2nd, Wright
3rd and Pelley 4th. The wind had gone right with slightly more breeze in shore. Kilsby, Vincent and
Wright hoisted and sailed on and then well passed the lay line. Pelley gybe set and sent it almost in
one to the leeward mark. This would have been great except this course took him straight through
the Fast Handicap fleet, who were a minute into their starting sequence and beginning to line up. It
was all a bit sketchy. Pelley rounded inside Kilsby and was briefly in the lead, but sailed like a
Muppet for the rest of the race and finished 5th on the water behind Walbank. Dan Kilsby made up
for his unusual performance in the previous race with a well-deserved win, Vincent the Wright
finished not far behind.
So after some good close racing, on a beautiful summer weekend in lovely Lymington, Tom Wright
was the class act and deserved winner.
Many Thanks to both the Royal Lymington Yacht Club and Lymington Town Sailing club for hosting a
fantastic event and getting all six races in.
Full Results >>>