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ACO 12th Musto Skiff World Championships at Torbole, Lake Garda - Day 2

by Brennan Robinson & Jamie Hilton 18 Jul 14:16 BST 15-21 July 2023
2023 ACO 12th Musto Skiff World Championships, day 2 © Annamaria Rami

Day 2 delivered another day of mighty Garda winds for the ACO 12th Musto Skiff World Championships at Torbole, Lake Garda.

Once again, we have two perspectives on Monday's racing, starting with Brennan Robinson's viewpoint from the middle of the fleet, followed by Jamie Hilton's from the front of the fleet.

Races 4 - 6: Mid-fleet

Brennan Robinson's take on things from the middle of the fleet...

Anyone who's been to Garda knows the drill. The tower clock strikes 12, the breeze arrives, and sailors' clamour to get on the water and out of the sweltering boat park.

Day 2 of Worlds was no different. The racing happened on the southern course, which meant a beat out in the building southerly. After a short postponement, race 4 got under way. A significant pin-end bias on the start line lent itself to some splendid port-tack wonder-starts across all three races, but also a few less-than-successful attempts.

Upwind the general trend ensued with the race to the cliffs on the right. The timing of the next tack was tricky, with some going to early and losing out on the wind bend effect, some going too late and sailing unnecessary distance, and a handful of Cinderellas getting it just right.

The downwinds can adequately be described as "the exact reason that one buys a Musto". It was that perfect wind range to lock it in and enjoy the ride. Most opted for a gybe-set hoist back towards the cliffs, with a single gybe into the leeward gate. There were two hotspots for spectator action - first was at the downwind lay line, where a number of inverted boats staking the mark where they had attempted a gybe. The next was within a 50m radius of the finish line, where anyone who had overstood the downwind lay line had to either take the shame of dropping their kite to make the finish line, or pay the piper.

All in all, another spectacular day in a brilliant location. People are hoping that when they wake up tomorrow their arms will feel as a strong as their tan-lines. After all, it's still early in the regatta and there is still a lot more fun to be had.

Honourable mentions for the day:

  • Andy Rice had his wings clipped by Alex Griel in race 6, leaving him to limp home in search of a rack.
  • Ollie Bull getting within a whisker of the finish line, then putting his bow into a wave and himself in the wet
  • George Cousins got footloose when his trapeze broke on the run
  • Dave Annan doing the "hang out with your vang out" - losing the nut for his vang bar in race 5 and having to finish the race with no vang.

Races 4 - 6: Front of fleet

To compliment Brennan's summary of proceeding, we also asked Jamie Hilton (GBR 618) for his version of events...

It was pretty clear that heading right up the beat was the preferred strategy in order to get the best of the pressure and the wind bend around the headland. But to get the best of this meant crossing line on port to get the first bite of this advantage, and with the added bonus of avoiding a distance sapping tack.

Some managed this better than others and these tended to be the guys that showed up best by the top mark, and with a somewhat processional downwind leg back into the cliffs, the same bunch tended to fill the top spots. Essentially was all about the starts, closely followed by upwind speed, lay line calls and not dropping it into the drink when the pressure and breeze were on.

For Race 4 - It was Rob Richardson who looked to have nailed it by crossing the fleet on port, only to later find he'd been pinged UFD for being over too early. Close but no cigar unfortunately for him. The first beat was won by Sam Pascoe who landed his port handed start, closely followed by Danny Boatman won the pin on starboard and managed the early tack to the right. Sam and Danny ended up first (unassailable lead) and fourth respectively, joined in the top spots by Dan Vincent in second and Andrew Tarboton in third.

Race 5 - There was noticeably more boats taking on the risk of the port handed start. Pascoe, Bill Maughan and Hilton lead into the cliffs, but once back onto the long starboard tack up to the windward mark Bill deployed his considerable leverage to rocket up the beat to lead into the top mark and go on to take a convincing win. Aussie Matt (AUS 408) landed a stonker of a first and nailed the lay lines up the second beat to win second spot, and Tarboton sailed another cracking race to take third, benefiting from a few swimmers on the final gybe into the finish as conditions freshened significantly.

Race 6 - My favourite race of the day (excuse my indulgence here). Hilton and Maughan again looked great coming out of the start to win the race into the cliffs, closely followed by Dan Vincent and the rapid Danny Boatman. Hilton rounded first, gybed and hoisted in what had then softened to a much lighter breeze. Fortunately for him it came back on, and it came back strong, with Hilton receiving the best of this with a rip-roaring ride down wind. Round the leeward gate, Hilton opting for the windward right-hand gate and Maughan taking the other looking for the quickest route to the cliffs. Maughan was making gains and making them fast with his blistering upwind pace, but his lay into the top mark required a double tack for him to get round, leaving Hilton to keep his lead and reach downwind for the win. Maughan took second and Pascoe third. Tarboton deserves a mention as he took 4th spot to win the day overall with his 3,3,4.

The resulting leaderboard after day 2 has compressed a little, but with Hilton still on top (on countback) from Matt with a strong bunch not far back rounding out the top ten. Very much all to play for - just the way we like it!

At the close of Day 2 of the ACO 12th Musto Skiff 2023 Worlds, the top three places are:

1st - Jamie Hilton (GBR 618)
2nd - Matthias Houvenagel (AUS 408)
3rd - Danny Boatman (GBR 639)

View all results here

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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