by Rick Perkins
Musto Performance Skiff World Championship 2012, sponsored by ACO International, is being held from 23rd to 30th June at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in Weymouth, Great Britain. The event will be the largest ever gathering of single-handed spinnaker dinghies in the history of the sport.
Colour amidst the rainy conditions - Musto Performance Skiff World Championships 2011
With 106 entries already on the event website the event is set to be a fantastic festival of high-performance single handed sailing at the venue for the sailing competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
Previous championships have seen strong turn outs in the 70's and 80's but this fleet will be the first time the class has achieved the 'ton up'.
The class, by sailing standards, is relatively young having been designed in 1999 in response to ISAF's call for new designs of dinghies for consideration as equipment at the games. Although the Musto Skiff dominated the ISAF trails in 2000 the design wasn't selected for the games.
However, the class has gone on from there and become very popular as a challenging single-hander for amateur sailors who enjoy the thrills and spills of high-performance sailing. The class has achieved full ISAF international status and boats are sailed in 22 countries around the world.
This championship will be a good representation of the international flavour of the class with 11 different nations represented from the 106 entries.
When asked about the secret of the success of the class Paul Manning from the class association and who was involved in the development and build of the class said 'The early prototypes underwent a rigorous testing programme both in the UK and overseas. This allowed the final product to be highly refined and developed which means the product you see today is very similar to the first production boats. The boat has also benefitted from a programme of continuous minor improvements through monitoring the feedback of the sailors'.
In addition Rick Perkins of the class association added 'A successful class requires a great boat but the sailors and the association are also important factors. The class association has always been open and progressive with communications.
We have fostered a culture of openness and sharing amongst the sailors which means that at events the atmosphere is always friendly and sailors are always helping each other to improve'
This world championship has been many years in the planning and will be the last international championships held at Weymouth prior to the games and this factor has clearly been a pull to competitors.
At the event the sailors will race as one large fleet but to keep the competition focused through the field there will also be awards for age categories (youth, master and grand master) and there will also be Gold, Silver and Bronze categories. Prizes for these sections of the fleet have been provided by event marine sponsor Harken. Harken(UK).
The event will start with a six race pre-worlds spread over two days, followed by a lay day then the worlds will be a 12 race series over the next five days.
Musto Performance Skiff Class Association website