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Tarboton tops the Musto Skiffs at the Princess Sofia Regatta 2022

by Jamie Hilton & Andy Tarboton 8 Apr 10:52 BST 31 March & 3 April 2022

Club Nàutic s'Arenal (CNA) in Palma, Mallorca, is a fantastic venue for sailing, and it was great for the Musto Skiff class to be invited to join the prestigious Princess Sofia Regatta 2022 for a 4-day event over 31st March to 3rd April.

A total of 19 Musto Skiffs participated in the event, which was scheduled as a European Championships. Several World Sailing regions were represented, including the UK, Spain, Switzerland, and South Africa. Here's the full report for the event, which saw a closely fought battle for the Championship win between training partners, Andy Tarboton and Peter Greenhalgh, and an even closer battle for a podium place between GBR's northern circuit training partners, Jono Shelley, Euan Hurter, and Jamie Hilton.

Day 1

It was an unexpectedly wet start for the Musto Skiffs at the Princess Sofia Regatta, but there was a buzz around the boat park, with the class looking forward to racing together after so long. Racing was set to go ahead at 1pm local time, with 3 races (2 legs) planned.

It was a tough first day out to kick off the regatta! Not too many spills on the day, but there were many thrills as boats were able to change many places each leg - either doing things right or wrong.

The breeze was up and down, and the local boys were showing their experience with some good pace and smart tactics. The fleet was pretty close together in all 3 races, putting pressure on sailors to keep their heads out of the boat looking up track.

Swiss sailor, Alex Greil had a good day. He showed his experience and ended up in 3rd place by the final race. RSA sailor, Euan Hurter, showed that training over the Scottish winter hadn't been too harsh and was king of consistency all day. In the Spanish fleet, Joan Rossello Gelabert came out as top of the locals despite fierce challenges from his local training partners and ended up in 6th place.

It was great to be out in the bay alongside the Olympic classes as they prepared for the start of their regatta on Monday! The next few days promise more intense racing as Palma promises to test every sailor thoroughly.

The day concluded with Peter Greenhalgh (GBR) in 1st place, Andy Tarboton (RSA) in 2nd, and Alexander Greil (SUI) in 3rd.

Day 2

There was talk all week in the boat park, beach and bars of big Friday; and it certainly delivered. The fleet were held ashore under AP with the Bay of Palma reminiscent of the foam parties so famed in the resort of Magaluf across the bay. The fleet were eventually encouraged out with the AP dropping around 3pm for what proved to be 2 fruity races in around 18-22kts.

Hilton and Shelley were showing well with their 'winter coats' but were unable to wrap things up over the two laps; first Hilton swimming on the gybe and then Jono missing a gust to let the hard pressing Justo through for line honours in the first race of the day. In the next, both Turbo (Tarboton) and Peter fought a close battle at the sharp end - both looking near seamless (from afar) and show casing the benefits of winter training - with Peter narrowly taking the win.

Special mention for Richard Smith, who, having suffered some damage to a sail pre-race, was able to make his way ashore in the testing conditions, execute a formula 1 pit stop and get back out for the second and final race of the day.

Day 2 concluded with Peter Greenhalgh and Andy Tarboton holding on to their 1st and 2nd places, and Jono Shelley moving up into 3rd.

Day 3

Another big day on the water with the wind still in the west and a sizeable side swell wrapping around the bay to really test people's dismounts. Some very high score dismounts were reported this afternoon, particularly with almost everyone practising their swimming skills at some point. Keeping the boat moving through the chop is enough of a task without looking around you and strategising which way to go. This proved too much for young Euan Hurter who fell asleep at dinner later in the evening - much to the amusement of his mates! To his credit, he did a pretty good job at staying consistent and showed some good pace.

The Spanish have been having a great tussle so far in this Championship, showing some top-quality sailing at times, lightning speeds, and cracking starts and now locals Justo, Joan, and Mario are within striking distance of each other going into the final day of racing.

The Scottish contingent have been flying around the race course quicker than kilts leave the shelves in a Black Friday sale. However, much-loved Scot, Robbie Wilson, once again missed out on the racing, having come down with a suspected tummy bug on day 2 of the Championships.

Bruce Keen, solid as ever, is now getting to know how to sweet talk his charter boat into the front row of the pony parade. He is now within striking distance of the podium. Alex Greil is showing that he goes as well in the waves as he does on a lake and can never be counted out.

Peter Greenhalgh has owned the top spot for all 3 days of racing so far and won't give it up easily. Super Sunday showdown sees the forecast of a complete change in wind direction and the elements will surely produce a worthy podium.

Day 4

On the final day, fickle winds made racing hard and the race management even harder. This resulted in two abandoned races before we finally managed two races with snakes and ladders. Two races also meant that the 2nd discard would come into play.

Peter Greenhalgh was pushing hard all week, but arguably landed shorter ladders and longer snakes. It was a VERY close battle between the Warsash training buddies, but Andy Tarboton mastered the conditions superbly, as he had all week, and earned a deserved Championship win with only 1st and 2nd places on the leader board once the discards kicked in. Jono rounded off the podium to claim the best of the rest title.

Andy takes the well-deserved Musto Skiff European Championship 2022 win, but in representing South Africa leaves GBR's Peter Greenhalgh holding the title of 'European Champion 2022'.

The class is looking forward to making this an annual event and hope to be invited back in 2023. Thanks to David Rickard and Justo Martinez Balaguer for making the event happen, and the great team and race committee at CNA for hosting the Musto Skiff class at Princess Sofia Regatta 2022. A final thanks goes to the class title sponsor, Musto, who provided a range of merchandise prizes for the top five places.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoSponsor / BoatHelmClubCatR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
1RSA 590LAND SEAHORSEAndy TARBOTONHenlay Midmar Yacht ClubSeniorM1‑62‑622211213
2GBR 609 Peter Greenhalgh GREENHALGHWarsash Sailing ClubMasterM3113131‑5‑4417
3GBR 566 Jono SHELLEYLargs Sailing ClubSeniorM5832614‑112‑1031
4RSA 464IMET ALLOYSEuan HURTERPoint Yacht ClubSeniorM655‑83853‑9136
5GBR 593RED ROCKERJamie HILTONDalgety Bay Sailing Club LtdSeniorM2OCS6455627‑837
6GBR 623 Bruce KEENStokes Bay Sailing ClubSeniorMDNC3‑115443611541
7SUI 415 Alexander GREILYach club horgenYouthW428‑1087‑1146948
8ESP 596MEGAGENJusto MARTÍNEZ BALAGUERCN s'ArenalMasterM10‑1341‑1212875350
9ESP 602 Joan ROSSELLÓ GELABERTCN s'ArenalMasterM847‑119‑117931158
10ESP 603 Mario BARCELO CUARTEROCN s'ArenalGrand MasterMNSC997710108‑13666
11GBR 582 Paul MOLESWORTHStokes Bay Sailing ClubMasterM712129106RETDNC10773
12GBR 594MR STAGGER LEERichard SMITHMedway Yacht ClubGrand MasterM9OCS10DNC119910121282
13ESP 480MUSTANGPatrick HARRISCN s'ArenalMasterM1271712DNC1312DNC81394
15GBR 376JUDITHDavid RICKARDGurnard Sailing ClubGrand MasterM131415DNCDNC14RETDNCDNCDNC136
17GBR 058 Paul ANDERSONLargs Sailing ClubMasterW141513RETRETRETDNCDNCDNCDNC142

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