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Hilton tops the skiffs at the 2021 East Lothian Yacht Club Regatta, North Berwick

by Dan Trotter 7 Jun 18:40 BST 5-6 June 2021

East Lothian Yacht Club's (ELYC) annual regatta is always one for the diary. However, with Covid restrictions reducing the club's access to ribs, this year's regatta was split into two one-day events with Streaker, ILCA/Laser, and RS Aero fleets sailing on the Saturday 5th June, and Skiffs and RS200's sailing on the Sunday 6th June.

Most of the UK Musto Skiff fleet arrived a day early to spend a nice weekend in sunny Scotland. Whilst there was no planned racing for the skiffs on the Saturday, sunshine and a 12-knot sea breeze proved too much to resist, so the fleet headed out for a series of informal races in the afternoon. This was followed by fish and chips and a few beers on the beach to max the sunshine outside.

The official race day on the Sunday saw 15 skiffs (including two 29ers and an RS800) take to the water for a 4-race programme. The sun was shining, and the breeze was on. Race 1 got under way in a 15-18 knots westerly, with most of the fleet aiming for the extra pressure nearer the shore. After some jostling, it was Stu Keegan being dragged round by his partner, Sophie Johnson, who led to the windward mark in their RS800, followed by Dan Trotter, Jamie Hilton, and Jono Shelley. After some close racing, Dan finished first, followed by Jamie and Jono.

With the breeze still blowing for the second race, Jamie Hilton led from the start with Robbie, Dan and Jono all putting him under pressure, but the former UK National champion kept his cool to take the win, with Jono second and Robbie Wilson third.

For the third race of the day, the tide had started to turn, and the wind had dropped slightly. This meant the fat lads had lost their advantage. Euan Hurter put the after burners on and sailed an excellent race to take the bullet with Dan second and the ever-consistent Jamie in third.

After a frustrating third race, Jono Shelly was fired up and shot off the line and into the shore, leading from start to finish to take a comfortable win. Mr consistent, Jamie Hilton, once again sailed a solid race to finish second, with Euan in third.

Four races and four different winners showed how close the racing was. Jamie Hilton showed great pace all day to win the event overall.

With two days of champagne sailing, everyone went home with a smile on their face. Massive thank you to East Lothian Yacht Club for yet another fantastic weekend.


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