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Noble Marine 2022 YY - LEADERBOARD

2023 Noble Marine UK Musto Skiff National Championship at Restronguet Sailing Club - Day 2

by Jamie Hilton and Bill Maughan 23 Sep 11:03 BST 21-24 September 2023

Day two of the Noble Marine UK Musto Skiff National Championships looked likely to be a very different day. As the forecast suggested, it was going to be a big one.

The early morning saw the breeze out of the north, which was steadily increasing throughout the day with some lively 20+ knot gusts. A few nervous stomachs could be seen ashore while boats were rigged, and with that the fleet got launched.

Race 2: What was now officially race 2 of the championship reminded the fleet that the start was against tide. It got away cleanly, although a couple of the sailors cut it a little fine at the pin and got racked up. Bruce Keen won the pin with Bill Maughan just above and headed left. The shifty breeze had the fleet split, but it was ultimately the left paying and Bill, taking a slightly earlier lay, took the lead around the windward mark. Dan Vincent, keen to rectify the BFD of day 1 was keeping the pressure on, as Eddie Bridle and Bruce battled it out behind. The positions remained the same for the three-lap race with Bill taking the bullet. Most sailors were happy keeping the mast upright, with plenty of places to be made at the gybe!

Race 3: The next race started on a line with a big pin bias, but the real winners were those onto port quickly. Euan Hurter had it nailed and sailed a beautiful port tack flyer, clearing the fleet and leading out right. If only he tied his mainsheet blocks tight, he may well have won the race.... but he was overhauled by Dan Trotter, earning a well-deserved victory, as Euan wrestled with a 2:1 mainsheet for the second lap! Again, Dan Vincent stayed in the fight and scored another top 3 result for the day.

Race 4: This race mixed things up with a longer beat, but just 2 laps. This made for some great long downwind rides at full speed. Euan Hurter tried to repeat his glory and port tack the fleet again, but they were onto him, and he struggled to find a gap. Bill Maughan showed his superior pace upwind again and was leading the race round the top mark for the last time, with Fynn Sterritt closely behind. Bruce Keen had made a big gain up the last beat by going hard left and rounded just behind the leading two. Those three compressed on the run with stronger gusts coming from behind, but Bill gybed early with Fynn and managed to hold on for the win, with Fynn and Bruce close behind.

Race 5: For race 5, there were plenty of tired bodies around the racecourse. The day had swallowed some competitors and they had headed back, leaving the battle hardened to have it out for the 4th race of the day. Dave Poston and Fynn Sterritt got caught up by the allure of the pin and racked up, the tide proving stronger than most expected. Jamie Hilton led out to the left and put on the afterburners, leading around the windward with Bill Maughan and Euan Hurter in pursuit. Bill, however, was on the inside line and got lifted downwind while the others got a big gust down the inside. Jamie held on to his lead for the remainder, despite a hard chase from Dan Vincent and Rob Richardson, which is where the places finished. Bruce Keen and Bill Maughan came in 4th and 5th, both rounding up a solid day's racing.

The pasta off the water was most welcome for everyone, after what was an epic day of heavy weather Musto Skiff racing. The usual culprits could be found later enjoying the local food, mostly beer, and having a great time.

With a ferocious looking forecast on Sunday, another 4 races are scheduled for Saturday, which will be a real test in the breeze southerly, which is forecast. Could this be the deciding day for the championship? We'll see.

Full results so far can be found here.

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