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ACO 12th Musto Skiff World Championships at Torbole, Lake Garda - Day 1

by Paul Dijkstra (NED) & George Cousins (GBR) 16 Jul 20:46 BST 15-21 July 2023
ACO 12th Musto Skiff Worlds at Torbole, Lake Garda Day 1 © Emilio Santinelli

Today delivered perfect Garda winds for the first day of the ACO 12th Musto Skiff World Championships at Torbole, Lake Garda. There was plenty happening across the fleet, so here's two perspectives of today's racing from Paul Dijkstra up at the front of the fleet and George Cousins' view from the middle of the fleet.

So, here's how the day unfolded at the front of the fleet:

Race 1

A full pack of 53 Musto Skiffs started their first 3 races of the 12th ACO Musto Skiff Worlds 2023 in Torbole on Lake Garda. Fantastic conditions; sun and wind building up to about 16-18 knots. What more can you wish for if you're sailing a Musto Skiff.

With the practice races, you had to start at the committee boat, and whomever was first to the mountain and picked up the lay line there, would be first. Today, it was totally different. The first race started with a busy pin-end, which was the best side. Danny Boatman took the lead and didn't give up this place until the end. Aussie, Mattie followed, and Dan Trotter in third place.

Race 2

Race 2, and Sam Barker (GBR 638) and Sam Pascoe (GBR 636) took a guess at the pin-end to go starboard, but they ended up really well by the end of the first beat. The fleets level is very high, and places changed a lot between the boats. It was changing, and very close to the end, but Jamie Hilton took the bullet, followed by Peter Greenhalgh, and then Sam Pascoe.

Race 3

In the third race it was very busy in the pin-end again. Our Aussie had a lucky shot and a sharp start over starboard. He thought that perhaps he was too early, but luckily for him, he made it in time and didn't give the race away. The left wasn't that bad this time, Danny Boatman and Paul Dijkstra took this side, and ended up in the top 10. In the end, Matthias Houvenagel from Australia took first place, followed by Jamie Hilton (who closed the first day standing first overall), and third in the race 3 was youth sailor, Eddie Bridle from Brightlingsea Sailing Club.

Will tomorrow be pin-end favourite again? The weather forecast looks great, and hopefully the Ora will be kicking in once the races start. We'll find out tomorrow, but first we have the Opening Ceremony at the Sailing Club.

George Cousins gives the lowdown on the battles happening mid-fleet to take us to the finish line:

Race 1 - 3

The Ora set in early giving quintessential Garda conditions and a prompt start time.

After getting away first time in all races the fleet generally split with most heading to the highly coveted cliffs to the right, with the remaining helms digging into the left hard.

The name of the game for those of us outside the top 10 seemed to be keeping out of trouble, finding a lane, getting the boat round the course, and trying to remember to have fun.

Downwind, most went for the gybe-set chasing the pressure towards the cliffs. Drop to the knot and send it. Foot loops were definitely required! Some helms did make the other side work, enjoying the flatter water and less traffic - and by traffic, I mean rogue windsurfers whose concept of Port-Starboard is akin to that of a Labrador.

All in all, an amazing first day on the water!

British sailor, Jamie Hilton takes the lead on the first day of the ACO 12th Musto Skiff World Championships 2023 in Torbole, with Australian, Matthias Houvenagel in second, and another Brit, Danny Boatman in third.

Full results after day 1 can be found here (PDF format)

Follow the daily races for the ACO 12th Musto Skiff 2023 Worlds in real-time in partnership with SailRacer GPS Tracking.

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