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Scottish Skiff Open at East Lothian Yacht Club

by Gavin Homer 9 Jun 2009 16:24 BST 6-7 June 2009
The MPS Scottish championships 2009 © Alan Henderson /

23 boats turned up at East Lothian YC for round 2 of the Scottish skiff circuit including 12 Musto skiffs, which were also competing for their Scottish championship as part of the event.

As competitors headed out to the race course in a 15 knots easterly it was the size of the waves rather than the breeze that were going to make things interesting for competitors. Race one got started with most of the fleet initially heading left whilst Martin Boatman who had tacked off to the right to clear his air. On tacking back half way up he held a good lead over the rest of the fleet including the moths that were finding the waves a bit to tricky to be able to go at full tilt. With the windward mark 100m off the leithies point the fleet was going to have a n interesting time trying to get round and manage the bear away before enjoying a sleigh ride down. Boatman was first round followed by Ian Renilson and Robbie Wilson and the Lyons in their 49er. The leaders then hoisted their kites for a sleigh ride back down with wind going up to 20-22 knots as they headed down the run. With the increase in breeze and several competitors not used to the wave conditions a steady stream of retiral's began. Lap 2 and Boatman held his lead with Renilson chasing hard up the beat. With the increase sea state Boatman was the only Musto to hoist his kite more by luck than skill without pitch poling and won the race followed by Renilson with John Evans pulling up to third. With several boats still in difficulties and the seas getting larger, the race officer called it a day and the fleet headed home to the bar.

Sunday dawned warmer with the sun out the wind blowing 15 knots and more importantly the sea state had died down. After an hour postponement race 2 got away. Ian Renilson played the shifts and the wind /tide at the leithies to lead from Boatman and Robbie Wilson. Round 2 and Ian lead to the finish with Gavin Homer managing to get past Wilson for third. Following a prompt turnaround which occurred for all the days’ races the fleet got off for race 3 with Renilson again leading the fleet closely followed by Wilson Boatman and Homer. While Renilson was able to maintain his lead Boatman managed to pull up to second until a bad rounding at the final windward mark allowed the other two through to 2nd and third.

Race four and competition for the top places was still tight with Boatman able to get past Renilson on the first run by calling the gybing earlier whilst Renilson over stood the lay line to allow him past. Behind the international14 of Wilkie and Mcafferty were getting sorted and pulled up to third in front of the next group of Musto skiffs.

With the days time limit drawing near and competitors tiring the race officer started the final with the regatta yet to be decided With the tide slackening the fleet headed offshore with Renilson leading at the windward mark with Boatman in second. Down the first run Renilson again misjudged his lay line allowing Boatman to pass him. Behind the leading two another tussle was occurring for third place with Homer catching up to Wilson at the final windward mark before doing the same as Boatman had done to Renilson in the previous lap to pass and passing him to take third by a matter of meters.

Whilst the fleet packed up, ate pie and beans, agreeing the days sailing was an ideal warm up for the nationals, the committee did the maths, to confirm that Martin Boatman had won the event.

Thanks to elyc for hosting another good event and the Musto skiffs look forward to 2 days training and the National championships next week whilst the rest of the Scottish skiff fleet look forward to Largo Bay at the end of the month.


1st - Martin Boatman - Derwent Res SC - 5pts
2nd - Ian Renilison - Dalgety Bay SC - 6pts
3rd - Gavin Homer - East Lothian YC - 13pts
4th - Robbbie Wilson - Wormit BC - 16pts

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