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Noble Marine 2022 YY - LEADERBOARD

Interview with Rob Richardson: Getting ready for the 2023 Noble Marine UK Musto Skiff Nationals

by Musto Skiff Class Association 19 Sep 17:09 BST 21-24 September 2023
Rob Richardson - ACO 11th Musto Skiff World Championship 2022 © Bernardí Bibiloni /

This week, around 40 Musto Skiff sailors will be travelling to Restronguet Sailing Club in Falmouth for the 2023 Noble Marine UK Musto Skiff National Championships, which starts on Thursday 21st September.

Four days of racing are planned on the open sea in Falmouth Bay or in the more sheltered waters of the Carrick Roads, which is most likely given the remnants of Hurricane Lee is providing some unsettled weather along the South Coast of England right now.

With the event just days away from starting, the class association caught up with Musto Skiff youth sailor, Rob Richardson, to find out what he's been up to since competing in the ACO 12th Musto Skiff 2023 Worlds at Lake Garda, and what his predictions are for this year's UK Nationals in Falmouth.

What preparations have you made since attending the 2023 Worlds to get ready for the upcoming UK Nationals?
I've done very little preparation for this year's Nationals, which is unusual for me. However, I bought a new boat shortly after the Worlds, so I have spent time trying to get her all set up and ready to race. I sailed her for the first time at the Lymington Dinghy Regatta in August, which for those of you who were there will know, it was a huge day out!

Have you set yourself a target for the UK Nationals? Where are you hoping to finish?
I normally set myself a target for a Nationals, but I haven't done that this year. I've had a bit of a mixed season so far, and I haven't been able to put as much time into the boat as needed to compete at the level I would normally aim to be at. Also, with coming to the Nationals in a new boat, I am really just hoping to sail well and come away with a good result.

You recently took on the role of the UK Musto brand and class ambassador. How are you enjoying the Musto kit for this season?
The Musto kit has been a game changer. I've really enjoyed how comfortable and flexible all the wetsuit and tops are. The design of the kit is also really good, with padding and protection in all the correct places. The best kit on the market.

Having recently moved from Lake Windermere to the South Coast, what are you gaining from sailing in different conditions with some new training buddies?
There are definitely some big changes!! Training with Pete (Greenhalgh) and Andy (Tarboton) has massively helped my knowledge and understanding of the rig setup. Having two guys who have the Olympic level of detail is second to none. Also, I'm sailing more on the sea now, especially the Solent, which has been a learning curve dealing with tides and waves and adopting new techniques to sail fast.

You've proven your form in light winds with some impressive results at the 2022 Worlds at Kiel where you finished 1st Place in the Youth category and 4th overall. How are you feeling about this week's forecast, which is set to be pretty punchy?
Ha-ha - yeah, the forecast is looking punchy. Luckily since Kiel I've put on some weight, so it's a bit easier than a year ago. I'm feeling alright about it. I imagine I'll be pretty rusty, but from what I hear from other competitors I'm not going to be the only one! Luckily, Restronguet has a great range of courses so I think we will be able to race in the 20-25 knot range relatively comfortably.

What are you hoping to get out of the Noble Marine sponsored pre-event training day on the 20th of September?
I think the training is going to be hugely beneficial. Hopefully, it will clean the rust off me, and I'll be able to find some things that I'm not doing correctly with my boat handling, or starting, or even just a straight line. It's always great to get that outside opinion. We have a great coach lined up in Alan Sign with a great turnout of boats.

Finally, what's your predictions for this year's UK Nationals?
Once again, I think it's going to be very competitive all the way through the fleet. I think the big boys will have a good week such as Danny Boatman, Bill Maughan, and Jamie Hilton. Apart from that, I think most of us will get taken out by the Geordie lot, and I think it's going to be a cracking week at a cracking venue!! I'm really looking forward to it!!

The 2023 Noble Marine UK Musto Skiff National Championship will be hosted over 21st - 24th September at Restronguet Sailing Club in Falmouth, with a pre-event training day this Wednesday sponsored by Noble Marine Insurance. Look out for the event reports and overall results to see who will top the podium this year. With current Champion Title holder, Sam Pascoe, unable to compete due to other commitments, the Title is fully up for grabs, and we're set for a new winner on the podium for 2023!

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