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Harken Musto Skiff Northern and Scottish Series at Largs Sailing Club

by Paul Rigg 21 May 13:10 BST 18-19 May 2019
Harken Musto Skiff Northern and Scottish Series at Largs © Gordon Cochrane

A suitably dreich west coast morning welcomed twelve Musto Skiffs to Largs Sailing Club for the third round of the Northern and Scottish Skiff Series sponsored by Harken.

Race 1 saw more wind than forecast and the fleet got a bit too eager resulting in a general recall for the first start. A fancy red and white chequered flag appeared for the next start and despite not knowing what it meant it was enough of a deterrent that start two got away cleanly, straight into the oncoming D-zeros, RS200 and Vortexes with whom we were sharing a race course.

All survived and a fairly tight race followed. Dan Trotter led the way with close racing behind. Ben Schooling having made the effort to come up from Dorset decided to make the trip worthwhile and took out Jono Shelley at the last leeward mark opening up some space for Ian Trotter to slip into second with newbie Paul Rigg being pipped for third by Ian Turnbull who threw caution to the light wind and stormed through with his kite still up for the final fetch to the finish line.

Races 2,3 and 4 saw some more close racing with the main decision being one between more wind offshore or head inshore to avoid the tide. In general offshore worked best but the odd inshore gamble paid dividends. Having spotted some porpoises close by my attention shifted to wildlife spotting so I can't add much narrative to the racing I'm afraid. No sighting of local bilingual superstar dolphin Kylie though. It is believed Kylie having nae dolphin mates locally had to learn to speak porpoise to fit in with the local gangs. Anyway, back on the surface Schooling and Dan Trotter did the winning with the other podium places being shared around. Overnight Dan Trotter led with Ben Schooling second and Ian Trotter in third.

Day two and a cracking day dawned in sunny Largs with the surrounding hills and Cumbrae being beautifully reflected on the completely calm sea surface. Nobody was in much of a rush apart from the race team who declared it was time to go once the slightest of zephyrs appeared. With suspiciously perfect timing though we were saved by the bell as the clubhouse fire alarm sounded. An hour and two fire engines later we were changed and launching into a five knot southerly "breeze".

Race 5: Eager to get racing in the Babycham conditions fifty percent of the fleet achieved being over the start line, two went back but the X flag stubbornly remained up. Shelley, Yeats, Holliday and Rigg all punished with OCS. Schooling took the win with the Ians, Turnbull and Trotter, taking second and third. Overnight leader Dan's batting collapse began with a sixth.

Race 6: Despite the distraction of more porpoises Rigg found some focus to take his first ever Musto Skiff win followed by Jamie Hilton and Ian Trotter.

Race 7: Having had a taste of glory Rigg got greedy and took another win in the now dying breeze, Schooling second and Ian Trotter third. The race team having run seven successful races wisely decided to call it a day and we drifted ashore in the afternoon sunshine.

Ben Schooling had done enough for overall victory with Ian Trotter's consistency earning him second. Paul Rigg's late charge got him the final podium place just ahead of Dan Trotter in fourth and Ian Turnbull in fifth.

Thanks to all at Largs SC for a great weekend and for achieving seven good races. Thanks also to sponsor Harken and the class for being welcoming and helpful for my first foray into Musto racing, see you all at North Berwick (ELYC) in two weeks.

Largs SC is hosting the Nationals this year from 5-8th September sponsored by Noble Marine. It really is one of the finest stretchess of water in Scotland and the club has hosted many successful championships. Come and sample the excellent Scottish hospitality and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Get your entries in now via webcollect.org.uk/largssc/event/musto-skiff-national-championships

Overall Results:

PosSail NoClubHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1536Helensburgh SCBen Schooling‑614115214
2546Derwent Reservoir SCIan Trotter2‑43233316
3367ELYCPaul Rigg4354(OCS)1118
4527Derwent ResevoirDan Trotter121366‑719
5528UllswaterIan Turnbull35252‑9522
6593Aberdeen & Stonehaven SCJamie Hilton‑876782636
7526LSCJono Shelley5676(OCS)4836
858Point Yacht ClubEuan Hurter78894‑10440
9255DBSCAndrew Scott10‑111011581155
10552ChannonryBen Yeats119118(OCS)7955
11550Channornry SCJon Bailey9109107‑121055
12464Channornry SC Largs SCKevin Holliday(DNC)12DNCDNCOCS11DNC75

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