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11th ACO Musto Skiff World Championships during Kiel Week - Day 1

by Euan Hurter 23 Jun 12:41 BST 18-26 June 2022
Pre-Worlds racing at the ACO 11th Musto Skiff Worlds at Kiel Week © Bernardí Bibiloni / www.bernardibibiloni.com

The ACO 11th Musto Skiff World Championships 2022 kicked off at Kiel Week with some light wind racing for the Pre-Worlds on Tuesday 21st June.

After a long postponement due to thunderstorms and the light wind, and many hours (and days) on the road travelling to Kiel, the Musto Skiffs were keen to get out sailing. However, being on the closest course to the shoreline with a marina upwind created challenging conditions, requiring great skill and even more luck to find any gains on the racecourse.

True to his word, the Race Officer kept his promise of two races, and the class did their best to test their boat handling skills in shifty conditions and traffic from other boats, including two 40' yachts that decided to join the fleet during the second race.

In the absence of 'official results', podium places for the Pre-Worlds were up for debate, but it was concluded that the top 3 positions overall were Rob Richardson (GBR) in 1st position, followed by Peter Greenhalgh (GBR) in 2nd, and Rick Peacock (GBR) in 3rd.

After an impressive Opening Ceremony by the Kieler Woche event Organisers, with country flags and a lively steel band, most of the class had an early night in preparation for the first day of the World Championships.

Day one of the ACO 11th Musto Skiff World Championships launched in stellar German summer form: overcast and lack of wind.

The race committee was very prompt in their handling of the conditions, not sacrificing any breakfast time to hoist the 2-hour fixed postponement. This was obviously the foreshadowing of a cat and mouse game of waiting for wind. Any inkling of wind led to wetsuit draping, which very obviously chased the wind away.

After many hours of faffing around and postponements, every single boat in the dinghy park is now pimped beyond the dreams of the infamous 'pimp my ride' - (MTV sponsorship soon to be announced).

With the final call of racing cancellation, it was a marathon sprint to the race office to return the day's GPS trackers. A large number of boats lacked the athleticism to get there within the organiser's strict time limit, so they will now carry a +1 point deficit for the Championship. In their defence, the ultra-high performing athletes of the Nacra fleet failed too, so we'll see tomorrow what the final outcome is on the system for returning GPS trackers post-racing (or no racing, as we all found out today).

The evening was highly conducive to Musto Skiff praise, as we welcomed a heart-warming rendition of the Musto's develop by its very founder, Dr Joachim Happrecht. The legendary German boat designer undoubtedly saved the day, lifting the spirits of the sailors with his enigmatic presentation about building the first Musto Skiff prototype in the early 1990's and test sailing it at Lake Garda in Italy.

The original prototype of the Musto Skiff was also present and rigged to show everyone where our beloved class has come from, and with the numbers of people and libations, the night was awesome.

We await tomorrow for favourable winds and great racing, keep tuned for more!

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