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Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Noble Marine UK MUSTO Skiff Nationals 2020 at Brixham Yacht Club - Day 1

by Jamie Hilton & Paul Molesworth 4 Sep 06:15 BST 3-6 September 2020
Brixham Harbour on day 1 of the Noble Marine UK MUSTO Skiff Nationals 2020 © Natalie Hilton

This year, the MUSTO Skiff Class chose Brixham Yacht Club to host their 2020 Noble Marine UK MUSTO Skiff National Championships. The event, which started Thuesday, is taking place over September 3 - 6 at Brixham Yacht Club.

Race 1:

It was almost inevitable that after a year of next to no racing the fleet would be keener and more eager than ever to get back on the race track. The air was thick with the stench of testosterone. So, upon the third time of asking, and under the guise of the black flag, the fleet finally got away in a 10 - 12 knot westerly coming off the land.

Off the start, Peter Greenhalgh went hard left, closely followed by Robbie Wilson. Danny Boatman and Jamie Hilton picked a path just right of the middle. David Annan rang the bell in the right hand corner. All five converged on the top mark in unison with Annan marginally in front. Boatman was in second, but his bubble was soon burst when the rib on station held aloft a board to inform him of his black flag infringement.

Wilson rounded next with Hilton soon to roll him on the set. Greenhalgh opted to gybe off immediately, towards the bigger pressure, but via the lee of the fleet approaching the top mark on starboard. This proved to be the gamble that won the race as Pete took the lead into the leeward gate with a plethora of boats, notably Ed Chapman and Ben Clegg, in close pursuit having taken the same strategy.

The leaders picked their way upwind, doing their best to stay in pressure and on lifted tack. Not easy to get it right, but Greenhalgh was able to keep his lead with the chasing pack doing more to impede each other rather than take chunks out of Greenhalgh's lead. But, rounding the leeward gate to start the third and final lap, the majority plugged right, with only Hilton tacking off early. Perhaps fortunate, but he was able to sail in pressure all the way up the beat rising to second place and giving Greenhalgh at least something to think about.

Down the final run Greenhalgh stayed in pressure to cement his bullet, while Hilton and Clegg threw in a number of gybes to try and stay in the pressure. Clegg hooked them better and overhauled Hilton for second, with Hilton third, Billy Maughan fourth and Pascoe in fifth.

Race 2:

The second race got away on the 1st attempt with the fleet converging towards the pin end. However, "Pin End Paulo" (Molesworth) held his nerve and launched out on the gun into a comfortable lead. Bruce Keen tacked out early and made good work to round the windward mark in second, closely followed by Peter Greenhalgh.

Downwind each boat thought they saw more pressure in different places, however, when they came back together at the gate, positions remained the same. Up the second beat Molesworth blinkered into heading right, whilst the rest saw the left pressure. When Molesworth made it back across into the fleet he was heard saying, "I have outstayed my welcome at the front of the fleet, and will get back in my box!"

Back at the top mark Keen had taken the lead just ahead of Mike Matthews and Sam Pasco, which is how it finished.

With the late start and the wind dropping, the RO decided that was enough for the day and sent the fleet home, to be greeted by a well-oiled beach crew and Pasties to feed the hunger!

After the first day, Peter Greenhalgh leads with Sam Pascoe and Bruce Keen following close behind. Great to be back racing again!

Results after day 1 can be found here.

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