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Musto 2023 HPX LEADERBOARD

Musto Skiffs at the Dalgety Bay SC Scottish Skiffs Regatta

by Ollie Bull 28 Oct 2023 10:29 BST 21-22 October 2023
2023 Scottish Skiffs Regatta at Dalgety Bay © Ian Renilson

Red weather warnings, wild wind, and heavy rain in the build-up to the Scottish Skiffs Regatta at Dalgety Bay SC resulted in the first race day being abandoned, and a much smaller fleet than expected on the start line for the final event in the Musto Skiff Northern & Scottish Series calendar. Despite this, the competition was still tight across the four races which were run in a building breeze and Dalgety Bay sunshine.

Racing kicked off in 5 to 7 knots of breeze with the fleet dodging a range of obstacles such as creel pots, logs, and seaweed on their way around the three-lap course. By the first upwind, it was light wind specialist, Euan Hurter taking the early lead, followed closely by Brian Greensmith and Ollie Bull. As the race progressed, Euan showed his skill to pull out a comfortable lead to finish the race in first, followed by Ollie in 2nd, and Brian coming in a close 3rd. Having found some good downwind speed, Steve Robson followed shortly behind with Andrew Scott rounding out the skiff fleet for race 1.

The building breeze for race 2 gave the fleet an opportunity to stretch their legs with Brian wasting no time and sailing a great race to take the win with Euan in hot pursuit to claim 2nd. Behind them came Ollie and Steve, who had a close battle down the final run for 3rd and 4th after Ollie decided that taking a swim on the last beat was preferable to challenging for 2nd place.

As the wind had shifted round to the left, the third race brought more tactical options for the sailors around the race course. Once again, the top three was tight at the first windward mark with Ollie holding a narrow lead over Euan and Brian, before promptly popping a gybe set straight into a sizeable hole after misjudging the gusts, giving Euan and Brian the chance to overtake. Despite having a good start to the event, Steve's kite system decided that it was done for the day forcing him to retire. This left 4 skiffs to battle it out on the course.

Around the remaining laps, the battle between Euan and Brian remained tight with every point being important for the event win. Ultimately, it was Euan taking the win and giving himself a slim lead in the overall standings over Brian.

With the points being tight, the final race was shaping up to be a great battle between Euan and Brian for the overall victory. Once again, the top three boats were in a close battle straight off the start, with Ollie and Euan heading inshore whilst Brian stuck to his plan by working his way up the middle. It was at this point that Euan took the decision to inspect the creel pots lying on the course, taking a majestic leap off the front of his boat allowing Brian and Ollie to pull out a comfortable lead. With the title being on the line, Brian fully entered the zone and sailed off into the sunset taking a convincing race win. Despite his initial setback, Euan mounted a strong challenge in the fight for second, ending up finishing just behind Ollie, ultimately giving the event win to Brian Greensmith on countback.

All things considered; this event was definitely not how anyone expected the final Northern & Scottish Series event of the year to play out, but a congratulations is definitely in order for Brian who not only travelled the furthest to attend but also managed to get the edge in a close fought event.

Well done to all the competitors involved, and I hope to see everyone on the circuit next year!

On behalf of the Musto Skiff sailors, I would like to thank Dalgety Bay Sailing Club and all the volunteers who made the event happen, despite very unfavourable storms disrupting half of the planned event.

Overall results can be found here.

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