Thirty-two boats turned up at Dalgety Bay SC on Saturday 11 October for the Scottish Skiff Championships, with competitors travelling from the South coast and the Highlands to compete in the event. With the wind blowing 20 knots and some vicious gusts coming through PRO John Robertson postponed racing for 45 minutes to allow the sea state to flatten after the tide turned.
The fleet got away in an orderly manner before the breeze really kicked in as they reached the first windward mark. Paul Hignett in his new blade rider moth and Ian Renilson in his musto skiff mastered the conditions best to be first and second with Robbie Wilson (musto skiff) just getting the better in the hare and tortoise competition with Hugh and Helen Watson (laser 4000) to get third and fourth.
Following a delay whilst the rescue boats sorted out some of the competitors who had gear failure the start sequence for race 2 got underway. A large squall caused the committee boat to start to drag its anchor led to the PRO sending the fleet ashore. With the squalls not abating the race committee decided to call it a day early.
Sunday dawned cold and windless leading to an hour’s postponement allowing a force 3 westerly to fill in. Race 2 started with the flood tide under the fleet but with 4 races to sail the fleet was remarkably well behaved and got away cleanly for no recalls for the whole weekend. Paul Hignett continued his dominance of the event with another win followed by Renilson then Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman (49er) third.
In race 3 whilst Hignett disappeared off into the horizon and was off upsetting the cats who started 3 minutes in front, the competition for the minor placings started to hot up. With 4 different musto skiffs leading their class at different stages with a few strong puffs and some large shifts Ian Renilson was able to make his way through the fleet for second with John Evans pipping Gavin Homer to get third.
With the tide turning race four turned out to be the most tactical for the fleet with the choice of going inshore to avoid the tide or further offshore for more breeze and using the shifts to make gains. Chris Pickles made the best of the conditions of the more traditional boats to be second followed by Robbie Wilson who used the shifts to make a large gain on the leading musto skiffs to get third.
With the tide now rapidly ebbing, race 5 got underway with a drag to the shore and some close tacking before the fleet had to make the call for the layline to the windward mark, with some losses to be made by those who under-stood their layline. Chris Pickles again used the advantage of the upwind pace of the 49er to get second from Gavin Homer in a Musto Skiff.
With the rapid turn round of results it was obvious that Paul Hignett had won but once the sums were done Ian Renilson was second and Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman third. Scottish Skiff Championship - Overall Results:
1st Paul Hignett, International Moth (Loch Venacher SC)
2nd Ian Renilson, Musto Skiff (Dalgety Bay SC)
3rd Chris Pickles & Matt Sharman, 49er (Yorkshire Dales SC)