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Musto Skiff Inland Championship 2019 at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Peter Greenhalgh 31 Oct 2019 06:41 GMT 26-27 October 2019
Musto Skiff Inlands at Grafham Water © Tim Olin /

The weather came good on Saturday with a wind range of 7 to 26 knots and 180 degree shifts. The Race Officer placed the windward mark in the reeds of the windward shore so this made it nice and easy for us to hoist our kites but the final approach to the windward mark was somewhat precarious!

On top of that we shared our race course with the VX Ones and 505s, which at times were in the mix making for some difficult decision making / boat handling for the Mustos. There were three lap races for the first two races where Rich Pelley and Dan consistently shone at the front. I joined them on the occasional lap but generally wasn't good enough at keeping the mast pointing in the sky. Local Grafham sailor Dave Annan showed us it was fairly simple by consistently coming from the right and sailing three good races.

Race 3 was a little interesting as the lead three boats ended up in 4 knots of wind only 100 metres away from 25 knots and a 180 degree windshift which took its time to arrive, allowing the tactical genius Paulo to sail through under the fleet, taking the right hand turn and broad reaching to the windward mark. With Dan Trotter boat handling his way into second I attempted to roll him on the new reaching leg and got hit by a gust and blew over like a total beginner.

The whole fleet reached off but ended up high on the mark because of the huge right shift. This subsequently left some opportunity for those who were stupid enough to try and hoist their kites. Dan T successfully got himself safely round what was the windward mark in second and I, with zero seamanship gybed inside the fleet on the windward mark, dropping frantically on the spreader leg which seem to land me back in fourth by some miracle!

The Race Officer shortened on that next leg which saw Paulo take a solid race win, Dan 2nd and Rich 3rd.

Dan was the overnight leader with a 2,1,2 and Rich on his tail with a 1,2,3. The rest of the fleet were a little adrift with some solid sailing from local club member Dave Annan and also Dave P.

On Sunday the sun was out and the wind was a pleasant 7 to 12k nots with a good part of the lake to race in. It was however a heavily favoured right hand track, so anyone that got right early off the start came good and the harder you hit it the better you were off. Dan T had this nicely worked out, winning the committee boat end and getting a tack in early which saw him lead at the top in the first two races, closely chased by Dave P, Stuart, Dave Annan and myself. There were a couple of occasions where Dan was closed down and only led by a matter of metres but he quickly got the boat lined up with some favourable wind and defended his lead well.

Rich Pelley appeared to have lost some form in the first two races, but then bounced back hard with an impressive lead in the last race, only to choke on the last gybe and allow Dan T and myself to slip by. Rich had done enough to secure second and Dan had a very impressive score sheet with 1s and 2s, winning the Inland Championship in well-deserved fashion.

The race for fourth overall was quite the battle with Dave Annan showing he was quite at home on his home waters and sailed another solid day to hold off the charge from Dave P who had an unlucky capsize in a crucial race against Dave A.

We had a new face in the fleet with Dave Hivey, a highly accomplished Moth sailor, showing us a huge improvement from Saturday to Sunday and the clear potential that it won't be long before he's at the front of the fleet. A big thank you to Jason Rickards on Saturday for waiting for me in race 1 lap 1 as I capsized to windward, got stuck head to wind and generally floundered in the water desperately trying not to capsize to windward again! After all that he allowed me to round the mark just in front of him.

Well done to the 23 boats that made the effort and thank you for racing hard and making it a good event. The rest who weren't there - come on people! It was a great weekend's racing you missed. Never ever could you relax and lots of place changing.

I look forward to racing you all again next year!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st527Dan TrotterDerwent Reservoir‑2121116
2nd516Richard PelleyStokes Bay1236‑13315
3rd567Peter GreenhalghWarsash SC‑97432218
4th535David AnnanGrafham Water Sailing Club35‑12810430
5th520Dave PosionWilsonian4310212‑1631
6th547Serega SamusWilsonian64597‑1731
7th533Stuart KeeganDRSC‑1310853733
8th582Paul MolesworthUCSC8‑151134834
9th487Sean ThijsseSBSC10‑141476643
10th483John EvansDerwent Reservoir Sailing Club15864‑161144
11th315Jason RickardsMsca11137105‑1446
12th265Tom TaylorGrafham Water Sailing Club7‑12111181047
13th590Jon SimpsonBlackwater SC126‑161291352
14th500Tom ConwayDRSC5161814‑19558
15th350Brennan RobinsonGrafham Water Sailing Club14917(DNC)111263
16th461Tim RogersHamble River SC16179(DNC)141975
17th52David HiveyWPNSA(DNC)DNCDNC1615988
18th178John PiattStokesbay SC18(DNC)1320221588
19th530Danny BoatmanSunderland Yacht Club(DNC)181917172091
20th586John McAfeeDRSC1719(DNC)18182193
21st419Richard SmithWilsonian(DNC)1115DNCDNCDNC98
22nd86Fred CudmoreDWSC(DNC)DNCDNC152018101
23rd290Joe BirdBlackwater SC19(DNC)DNC192122105

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