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Interview with Musto Skiff sailor David Hivey on his joining the class

by Natalie Hilton 26 Feb 2020 12:55 GMT
David Hivey sailing a Musto Skiff at the Boatman Bonanza © Tim Olin /

As a new member of the Musto Skiff Class Association, accomplished sailor, David Hivey, is rapidly getting to grips with a new skiff and settling into a brand new fleet of sailors.

At age 39, David already has the RS200 and RS400 National Champion and 2018 Moth European Champion titles to his name. Currently a member of WPNSA, David is now well on his way to mastering his new Musto Skiff.

In ten quick fire questions, we find out what brought David to the class and what he has his sights set on for the forthcoming 2020 season.

How long you have been sailing for?
"I've been sailing since before I could walk. My parents would take me out in the front of a GP14 at West Lancashire Yacht Club, just north of Liverpool."

What other boats have you sailed?
"Prior to the Musto Skiff, I've sailed Optimists, Lasers, RS200, RS400, RS800, and most recently a Moth."

Given that you are so successful in the Moth, is it fair to say that you were looking for a new challenge? What attracted you to the Musto Skiff?
"My best friend, Martin Boatman, had one and loved it. I had seen Martin sailing it for years and I'd always wanted to race one, as they looked challenging but brilliant fun. I had also looked at the online videos from legends like Stenhouse. Robbie Wilson kindly leant me a boat for the Boatman Bash (held on 24th & 25th August 2019 at Sunderland Yacht Club). At this event celebrating Martin's life, I had had quite a few beers and then woke up the next day with a nearly new Musto! I do enjoy the challenge of getting to the top in a new boat and I had already been thinking about learning to sail one as a challenge for some time, so it was a good move."

How are you finding the Musto Skiff so far?
"It is going swimmingly. I was starting to get the hang of some boat handling bits before it dropped below my 10 degreesC rule. If it gets over that again, I'll start training again! It is fun, but I have to admit, it's slow upwind compared to the Moth."

What are you finding most challenging?
"Holding on the start line - it loves getting into irons, so I have been practising this. Gybing - I had no routines at all (I had no idea how to use a tiller, main and kite with two hands!!!). I'm starting to get this sorted - but in breeze? This still needs work!"

What are you finding most rewarding?
"Compared to the Moth - 'Slow boat' racing again. I had missed the tactics of this. Downwind in the foot loop is also fun. A little loose at the moment, but fun. The social side in the Musto is also brilliant (and I don't have 5000 ropes any more!)."

What surprised you the most about the Musto Skiff?
"How easily it goes into irons. Backing the battens when stopped helps hugely. I was also surprised at how quickly I got used to trapezing again after not doing it for five years."

What are your goals for this season?
"If I am being honest, I don't really have any goals for this year. However, I am a teacher, so over the summer, I will get to train more than anyone else. I will see where I can get to by the World's in Germany and then the Nationals."

Have you got any targets in mind?
"I would like to try and fight for a podium place by the Worlds at Garda in 2021, but I will evaluate the likelihood of that based on how this year goes. There are some amazing sailors in the class that have been sailing the boat for many years. I would love to aim for top 10 results this year."

What advice would you give for anyone else considering the Musto Skiff?
"Get one. They are brilliant fun and easy to rig. The fleet is also super friendly and helpful. The racing is at a really great level too."

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