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Musto Skiffs at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club for the Northern & Scottish Skiff Open 2023

by Alastair Conn 4 Apr 18:22 BST 1-2 April 2023
Rich Smith takes third at the Yorkshire Dales Northern & Scottish Skiff Open 2023 © Tim Olin /

The first round of the Scottish and Northern Musto Skiff series was held at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club. Twelve Musto Skiffs were joined by an RS700 and a 29er for six highly entertaining races over the two days.

Saturday - 4 races

Saturday started with two pre-lunch races in a bitterly cold breeze. Marginal wiring conditions with plenty of shifts and gusts kept the fleet on their toes. Both the quality of the racing and the unpredictability of the race course led to plenty of lead and position changes throughout the races. Jono Shelley eventually took control of the first race to take the win followed by Alastair Conn in second and Danny Boatman in third. The second race had the same three sailors taking the top three positions; this time Danny took the win followed by Alastair, with Jono in third.

The fleet then came ashore for a chance to warm up and to enjoy some excellent food served by the galley. The lunchtime leaders were Jono, Danny and Alastair all on four points. The wind increased over the lunch break, along with the wind-chill factor, and as the fleet launched for the afternoon's two races it was clear that it was going to involve some much more athletic sailing than the morning.

Race three saw Danny storm off to the front of the fleet and opening up a good lead over the chasing pack. Danny's impressive speed and boat handling in the stronger winds earned him a well-deserved race win. Jamie Hilton fended off the challenge from Dan Trotter to take second, with Dan in third.

After fifth place finishes in each of the first three races, Bill Maughan looked like a man with a mission in the fourth race, as he led the fleet off the start line. A left-hand wind shift made the course fairly one-sided for the majority of the race reducing the overtaking opportunities, especially on the downwinds. Billy held on to take the race victory ahead of Jono in second and Jamie in third.

Danny Boatman had the overnight lead with 5 points after a discard, with Jono a point behind in second and Jamie in third. An excellent dinner was provided by the club's galley. The more adventurous members of the fleet then went to sample the nightlife in the nearby town of Skipton, a decision some looked to be regretting with some sore heads on Sunday morning.

Sunday - 2 races

On Sunday the wind direction allowed the race officer to set a longer course with the wind blowing more directly down the reservoir. Assumptions that the wind direction would lead to steadier wind strength and direction were quickly proved wrong as the racing got under way.

Alastair took an early lead, followed by Dan. After picking out the best of the shifts and gust on the first lap, Dan and Alastair were looking like they might break clear of the fleet, but were quickly dumped back into the chasing pack by some holes in the pressure on the second lap. Dan eventually re-took the lead and held on for the win, with Jono taking second and Danny fighting his way through the fleet to take third. A vicious gust combined with a forty-five degree wind shift caused Jamie Hilton and Richard Smith to capsize metres from the finishing line, allowing Ian Totter and Alastair Conn through to take fourth and fifth respectively.

With the final race to go it was Danny and Jono leading the competition on equal points, with the competition for third between Jamie, Alastair and Dan. Big holes in the pressure and big wind shifts ensured that no position was ever safe in the final race. Dan took an early lead with local sailor Ian Escritt chasing hard for the majority of the race. On the final downwind leg Alastair took advantage of a band of pressure to overhaul the leading boats and snatch the win, with Jamie finding his way through to take second, and Ian Escritt taking third.

Danny and Jono were unable to better their scores in the last race and so ended up tied on 12 points with Danny taking the win on countback. Alastair took third place overall with Jamie, tied on points, taking fourth.

Many thanks to the team at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club for putting on a fantastic and highly enjoyable event. Congratulations to Danny Boatman for winning the first event of the series. A big thank you to Ovington Boats and Musto for supporting the event with prizes for the whole fleet. The next event in the series will be the Daffodil Regatta at Ullswater on April 22 and 23. Hope to see you there!

Musto Skiff class website:

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stMusto Skiff639Danny BoatmanSunderland YC31143‑612
2ndMusto Skiff566Jono ShelleyUllswater/Largs13422(DNC)12
3rdMusto Skiff600Alastair ConnDerwent Reservoir227(DNF)5117
4thMusto Skiff618Jamie HiltonWormit Boat club4‑9236217
5thMusto Skiff610Dan TrotterDerwent Reservoir(DNF)7351521
6thMusto Skiff615Richard SmithMedway YC6466‑7426
7thMusto Skiff637Bill MaughanSunderland YC555113(DNC)29
8thMusto Skiff598Ian EscrittYorkshire Dales SC98‑11109339
9thMusto Skiff410Ollie BullChanonry SC86(DNF)DNC8744
10thMusto Skiff535Dave AnnanGrafham Water101087‑11944
11thMusto Skiff546Ian TrotterDerwent Water711(DNC)DNC4DNC52
12thRS 700909Chris WrightYorkshire Dales SC12‑13109121053
13th29ER1616Stewart WalkerYorkshire Dales SC111298(DNC)DNC55
14thMusto Skiff545Stewart Walker (DNC)DNCDNCDNC10863

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