Please select your home edition
Noble Marine 2012 #2

Noble Marine Insurance sponsored Musto Skiff training at Wilsonian SC with Russ Clark

by Richard Smith 7 Jun 2018 10:09 BST
Group © Russ Clark / Serega Samus

We met with Russ at 10am Saturday. From the forecast it was clear we set for a great day Saturday with 8-10 mph of breeze, but the possibility of no wind on Sunday. It was quickly agreed that we'd have a full day's sailing Saturday with a thorough analysis on Sunday before Russ leaves at midday.

We had six Wilsonian boats and one from the south coast attending. Russ asked each of us what our objectives were from the coaching. For some, this was clearly defined. Graham Smith and Steve Tinnams were looking to increase boat speed; Graeme Oliver was working on upwind with a bit of windward heel.

Neil and I have been working on our tacking. Those that know me are familiar with my tacks through almost 180 degrees, (a thing of the past – well maybe)! Lee Cullen is new to the fleet and wanted observations on all elements of Musto sailing. Finally, Serega was asked... "just make me good enough to win the Nationals" was his reply - perhaps we should all have cut to the chase with that one.

Before we set off, Russ went through the changing gears element of sailing the boat as the conditions were going to be between crouching to fully stretched on wire upwind. It quickly became apparent to me that if people are really putting this much effort to be at front of fleet it was no surprise that I'm in the middle.

We also discussed rig settings and found we were all in the right ballpark and checked/adjusted batten tensions on a couple of boats.

We spent three and a half hours on the water using the navigation marks for upwind/downwind and some follow the leader to improve tight control in close proximity to other boats. Russ set a short start line with the tide pushing us hard through it. We had several starts. I like to think given the circumstances of it not counting we were all pushing a bit harder than would normally do because there was always at least two boats over. Russ would then motor alongside one of us for a while making observations and offering advice. I was making far more kicker and cunningham adjustments than I ever previously have as the breeze changed. While the sail shape may have improved as a result, my lack of dexterity caused far too much tiller movement and bouncing the boat about, (a work in progress).

We returned ashore with our new knowledge fully tested and all of us exhausted from our sail resulting in three of us capsized on the beach, Doh.

All that was left to do was gathering the finest Wilsonian Musto minds to get trailer in water to bring Russ' RIB ashore. After complete foul up with the winch to the trailer, Russ' resigned comment "well, it's never been in that far before", still, no damage done time to go to pub for beer and grub.

We met at the sailing club at 9am Sunday for analysis of the previous day, together with start line and race strategies. All items were looked onto in more detail than I have ever considered before. Again, (work i...). There was a close call between Neil and Graeme at one of the leeward marks resulting in Neil wearing Graeme's pink spinnaker, (to be fair it was a good look for him – think it came from Jacamo). This was discussed in detail and Graeme was found to be the guilty party. Ahh happy days.

Finally Russ completely scrutinised Steve Tinnams rig settings and fine-tuned them for his size, before making in his way back to the south coast.

Comments from attendees:

Steve Tinnams: Great to have someone explain and show how rig works. Hopefully will take me forward in the Mustos at Wilsonian.

Graham Smith: Really enjoyed working with Russ, had forgotten how important the vang adjustment is.

Graeme Oliver: It's changed my perspective on how to use the mainsheet to change gear.

Neil Ashby: As per usual Russ's methodical approach to how the boat should be working and is explained in an easy step by step control by control learning curve.

A great weekend was had. Thank you very much Russ. Thanks also to Noble Marine. Without their support the coaching may not have been possible.

Related Articles

Performance defining dinghies - the Top Dogs
David Henshall digs into the history of the 'performance' dinghy What IS a 'performance' dinghy, and would we known one when we see one? Looking back into the history of the racing dinghy, adding the term 'performance' in front of the normal title didn't really exist until the early 1950s. Posted on 16 May
Musto Skiff Harken GBR Circuit at Wilsonian
"It's nothing you guys can't handle" A 22 boat fleet were warmly welcomed by the team at Wilsonian Sailing Club for the third Harken GBR Circuit Event of the season; breeze was forecast and the sun was shining for this two-day special over the bank holiday weekend. Posted on 10 May
Ullswater Yacht Club Daffodil Regatta
A blooming success with over 70 boats taking part Ullswater Yacht Club's annual Daffodil Regatta over Easter weekend on 20 & 21 April was blooming success, attracting an entry of more than 70 boats from all over the country. Posted on 23 Apr
Musto Skiffs at Stokes Bay
Big foam up for Harken GBR Circuit round 2 On Saturday 13th July, 35 excited Musto Skiff sailors converged at Stokes Bay Sailing Club for what promised to be a glorious regatta. Posted on 15 Apr
Yorkshire Dales Skiff Open
Part of the Scottish and Northern Skiff series On 6th & 7th of April YDSC held its first ever Skiff open meeting as part of the Scottish and Northern Skiff series. Eleven Musto Skiffs made up most of the fleet, the rest being as diverse as a Norfolk Punt (Skiff version), and a RS500. Posted on 10 Apr
Harken Musto Skiff open at Rutland
Age is but a number Well here it was, the first circuit event of the season! The event was held at Rutland Water and sponsored by Harken. Didn't it ever come around quick? Posted on 29 Mar
Ullwater Yacht Club Daffodil Regatta preview
Great racing, beautiful surroundings and excellent hospitality Great racing run by a top race team, sailing in beautiful surroundings, excellent hospitality, camping on site... lambs on the fells, bunnies in the club grounds and daffodils on the shore... what more could you want for a memorable Easter? Posted on 13 Mar
Ovington Boats going from strength to strength
We speak to Nathan Batchelor at the RYA Dinghy Show 2019 Mark Jardine of speaks to Nathan Batchelor about all the latest at Ovington Boats, including updates on the 505, 29er and VX-One classes and some of the traditional UK dinghy classes that they build. Posted on 4 Mar
Australian Musto Skiff National Championship
Marcus Hamilton takes his first MPS title With a prediction of sunny 20 knot sea breezes, the fleet set off in anxious haste having been sternly informed by our PRO that no late starters would be tolerated. We were greeted by a 10-12 knot north easterly sea breeze predicted to increase. Posted on 19 Jan
Musto Skiff Victorian State Championship
Rescheduled event finally gets going in Melbourne The Victorian 2018 Musto Skiff State Titles were scheduled for March, but due to bad weather were rescheduled to the 24-25 of November. Murphy, however, struck again and as the fleet headed down to PMYC the forecast was again unfavourable. Posted on 7 Dec 2018