Musto Skiffs at Rutland Water SC - 26th and 27th Mar 2011.
Windguru was wrong, the light winds forecast for Saturday, had beefed up a bit. A testing and teasing, cold and searching North Easterly F3-4 rolled across the lake in cheeky little gusts, scattering the 28 skittish skiffs before it.
First Blood – went to Bruce Keen – his boat newly returned from Australia was showing no signs of rustiness after a long winter in a metal container.
Second Blood – went to Tom Wright – also straight back from the Worlds and looking every inch the contender who won the last two events of last year.
Sweat - Four hard races were held and there was no lack of effort. At times most sailors had their moment, Steve Tylecote, the wily fox, was always in the hunt; Andy Rice was on the pace; Dave Poston was displaying his normal schizophrenic racing tactics – either in the top 2 or in the last 2 but seldom seen in between.
Tears – (pronounced to rhyme with theirs) Ed Wilkinson punched through his mainsail and brought to an end the final chapter in the life of this particular sail, which had become a class legend. Day Two ‘In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb’
The weekend showed the two sides that are meant to characterise March, and the conditions were certainly ‘lamblike’ as the fleet readied themselves on Sunday morning.
As the prematurely roused sailors (due to the clocks going forward) rigged their boats for Day 2 it was clear that Bruce Keen was in a commanding position and with a total of just six points from Saturday’s four races, the regatta was his to lose. Then, blow me down, that’s exactly what he did. An overlong lie-in meant he was late for the ‘driftathon’ that was the first race, and then a rarely attempted ‘kamikaze aborted port tack flyer’ start put him firmly mid-fleet for the final race and in a single bound Bruce had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
Meanwhile at the sharp end, Matt Hollis was winning the day with a 1,2; Mike Palfreman was proving that a lack of hand skin couldn’t prevent him from winning Race 2; and Tom Wright showed a bit of patience and maturity to score 2,3 and win the regatta overall.
In summary a great open meeting, with surprisingly good conditions and Rutland’s normal impeccable organisation. http://www.mustoskiff.com www.rutlandsc.co.uk/