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Musto 2017 728x90 Surefooted

Harken UK 2017 Musto Skiff Nationals at Brightlingsea Sailing Club - Overall

by Rick Perkins on 21 Aug 17-20 August 2017

The final day of racing dawned bright and sunny at Brightlingsea and the fleet promptly launched in the morning breeze of 8-10 knots. With the top 3 split by just a single point it was going to be a battle royal for the title.

Following a short postponement they got away at the first attempt with an individual recall, with Andy Tarboton impressing the committee boat team with his skills of holding position to secure the committee boat end of the line.

The breeze remained consistent in strength but with shifts and pressure changes making for some good tactical decision making. Ben Schooling led at the windward mark from Richard Pelley and overall event challenger Bruce Keen in 3rd. Keen had overhauled Pelley to take the regatta lead and held on to take the win from Schooling and Kilsby.

Overnight event leader Tom Wright didn't have a great race, finishing in 17th, putting pressure on him for the series and with was some nervous looks on the faces of the 3 leaders wondering if one of them had been OCS as they came up to the line to finish.

The breeze remained constant allowing the PRO to rapidly turn the fleet around and get race 8 under way. However, they were overeager and were called back. The fleet had calmed down after a short break and got away cleanly on the second attempt. It has been notable that the race officer has not had to roll out the black flag for the whole regatta.

George Hand led at the windward mark with overall event challengers Dan Trotter and Bruce Keen in 2nd and 3rd. Wright made a superb recovery on the 2nd beat and final run to pull through to take 3rd with Schooling winning from Andy Tarboton and Dan Trotter in 4th and Keen in 5th. This changed everything and meant that race 9 was looking like a cliff hanger. Keen led, just, from Wright and Dan Trotter, but race 9 also meant the 2nd discard would kick in and Wright had a worse discard than both Dan Totter and Keen (a 7th against 5th and 5th...). This meant that only a race win would allow Wright to overhaul Keen and if Trotter won Keen would need to finish lower than 4th.

The big question was; would points leader Keen engage in some match racing with Wright whilst keeping an eye on Trotter or just sail his own race?

Race 9 got away clear and Kilsby led at the windward mark from Schooling and Stuart Keegan. UK class chairman, Ben Schooling was having a great day, whilst the battle for the title ragged just behind him, and took the lead on the 1st downwind, with Keegan rounding in 2nd and Kilsby in 3rd. Unbeknown to the fleet, the radio comms had gone into overdrive as the message came through that the breeze had dropped at the weather mark. A brief discussion from the PRO and his excellent team concluded that it wouldn't be possible to shorten course in time at the first leeward gate, so the leaders rounded in around 6-7 knots and the PRO jumped ship and speeded up to the windward mark to set up to finish the fleet there.

Meanwhile, the calculators and pens and paper were out establishing what the standings were as the fleet worked their way up the final beat of the championships. Keen had started the race leading counting 17 points and trying to improve on a 4th, Wright was on 18 points and had to be top 3 and ahead of Keen and Dan Trotter was on 20 points and also had to win and needed some poor results from the others, oh, and the tide had turned against the fleet!

Schooling continued to lead, always trying to stay in pressure and between the chasing pack, but the wind was becoming fickle in the last third of the beat. Schooling was furthest right on port and still leading but the wind starting lifting inside him. A bit of pressure came in so he took the option to tack and crossed the 6-7 chasing boats to consolidate. Wright and Keegan held on on port tack in the new pressure and sailed beyond the layline to counteract the tide. Keegan lost pressure and fell back, but Wright, having over-stood slightly footed in with pace to take the win by 10 seconds from Keegan and Schooling, with Keen in 7th and Dan Trotter not managing to improve on his discard. This result made Tom Wright the Harken UK Musto Skiff National Champion winning by just 2 points.

It is worth noting that Tom joined the class at 16 (he is now 26) and, along with other young sailors such as Dan Trotter, George Hand and Dan Henderson, has mastered the class through the classes open culture and of course their own enthusiasm and skill.

A massive thanks to Brightlingsea Sailing Club and its members for laying on a memorable championship and to Harken as regatta title sponsors as well as class sponsors Hyde Sails and Musto. And finally, to Ovington Boats for their enthusiastic support of our class.

A scan of the full results can be found here (we're trying to get a proper copy of the results to post here)

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmBoat NameFleetR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
1stGBR499Tom Wright499Gold‑715531‑173119
2ndGBR534Bruce KeenGold4323‑5414‑721
4thGBR302Dan KilsbyGold‑16497233‑15533
5thGBR548George HandMPS 548Gold5272‑10‑876635
6thGBR 544Ben‑2415‑181021347
7thRSA 525Andy TarbotonAmanzi NganeGold86‑1269992‑1349
8thGBR469Richard PelleyGold69‑131081111‑20459
9thGBR568Andrew PeakeNAGold2‑171011313‑28101160
10thGBR364Andy RiceSailjuice.comGold911‑20811‑1910111676
11thGBR539Neil AshbySnoopynutsGold1121519115‑3014‑2977
12thGBR545Jamie Hilton Gold‑247117‑3517624981
13thGBR482Matthew HoldenRihannaGold2015813127‑2518‑2693
14thGBR533Stuart Keegan533Silver‑281916207(DNC)1223299
15thGBR113Edward WilkinsonnoneGold231017‑27236157‑27101
16thGBR538Paul MolesworthUltra‑CompositesGold1214612212021‑28(DNC)106
17thGBR547Serega Samus Silver171619251914‑29‑308118
18thGBR419Richard SmithBuffalo GalSilver(DNC)132121‑3316141915119
19thGBR531Andrew GouldUnunoctiumSilver2118181815‑23(OCS)1220122
20thGBR265Tom Taylor265Silver1823(DNC)2431(DNC)8821133
21stGBR376David RickardSilver2220142326(DNF)16‑3119140
22ndGBR 414Graeme OliverBurger Van IIBronze(DNC)(DNC)DNC9142223912141
23rdGBR500Tom ConwayNoneSilver132623‑3817181926‑32142
24thGBR315Jason RickardsDinghy‑rope.comBronze26(DNC)(DNC)142425242117151
25thGBR520Dave PostonUK DinghiesGold(DNC)(DNC)1133DNF5202210153
26thAUS567Rick PerkinsBlankSilver193022‑4036(DNC)131618154
27thGBR546Ian TrotterRope for boatsGold1084396(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC171
28thGBR290David Conlon Silver30312735‑40(DNC)182514180
29thGBR542Ron BarnesMore Sticky MomentsBronze36(DNC)(DNC)291612263331183
30thGBR574Jack GroganHyde SailsBronze33(DNC)(DNC)1120DNC271730190
31stGBR323Andrew WildeNoneSilver‑3521333234212229‑36192
32ndGBR550Jon BaileyBFFSilver272225‑41292732‑3635197
33rdGBR294Gary Stones294Silver3125283425(DNC)33‑3528204
34thGBR351Harry Wilson  (DNC)(DNC)DNC282228352723215
35thGBR289Andrew Whittlen/aBronze25(DNC)(DNC)223824393833219
36thGBR097James Nuttall Silver3224263037(DNF)38‑4134221
37thGBR61Nick MacWhirterFlowerSilver382729(DNC)27(DNF)403738236
38thGBR209Nick LettNaSilver372830(DNF)(DNC)DNC363225240
39thGBR556Steve RobsonTouching ClothBronze(DNC)(DNC)DNC3632DNC341324243
40thGBR372Alex KnightNoneGold15(DNC)(DNC)16DNCDNC5DNCDNC244
41stGBR570Martin BinghamDisaster AreaBronze(DNC)29314230(DNC)374040249
42ndGBR543Stephen WrightN/ABronze(DNC)323437(DNF)26424239252
43rdGBR304Jamie SouthwellN/ABronze34(DNC)323139(DNF)4139DNC268
44thGBR333Tim ChapmanLittle devilBronze(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC313437310
45thRUS479Yaroslav PetrovARKASBronze(DNC)(DNC)DNC2628DNCDNCDNCDNC314
46thGBR 394Nigel WalbankJigalongBronze14(RET)(RET)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC326
47thGBR167Stewart WalkerA Boat Too farBronze29(RET)(RET)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC341
48thGBR536Kevin HollidayKevin HollidayBronze(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC364

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