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Harken Musto Skiff open meeting at Rutland Sailing Club

by Jason Rickards 29 Mar 09:02 PDT
Musto Skiffs at Harken open meeting at Rutland © Tim Olin /

Day 1

Well here it was, the first circuit event of the season! The event was held at Rutland Water and sponsored by Harken. Didn't it ever come around quick?

The forecast for the weekends' event was not great and, really, no-one was expecting anything special, but damn was we wrong. If there was ever a time where the saying 'a bad forecast always ruined a good days sailing' was appropriate it was this weekend! As always some very keen sailors turned up Friday to get a sneaky sail in, some might say this was cheating.

With the forecast in mind we had a very good turnout. A total of 18 boats attended the event - two more than last year. Also, there were a few new faces which proves the appeal for the boat is still alive. On the Saturday morning the boat park was buzzing. A lot of 'no I haven't sailed much' drifted cross the dingy park, this being the code for covering yourself just encase of a bad event. With the forecast on the backs of everyone's mind this event had the making of real snakes and ladders, and the first day really could've been anyone's.

As everyone rigged we watched the wind fill in to a gentle 5-9 knots in the direction somewhere in the north west - just enough to make the day exciting.

Race 1; this race was definitely a hero-to-zero race. To begin boats heading out left looked like they held on out there too long but there was not of pressure over the boats that went right, even though they looked famous! Well it turned out that those who held their nerve to the left came out on top. The lefties got to the top mark first while those right siders got stuck... see snakes and ladders.

Jack Gorgan, who I am sure was one of the people who said 'I haven't sailed since god knows' managed to pick the shifts (and miss the snakes) nailing the first race and claiming first spot followed by Ian Trotter in second and Peter Greenhalgh in third.

Race 2 was much the same story as the first race. Light, shifty and a game of spot the breeze. Whoever managed to link it all together would take it. Tim Rodgers a newcomer to the fleet showing his big boat skills lead for two laps only to get smacked by a huge shift. This gave Andy Tarboton (turbo) his first race win after a disappointing first race by his standards. Peter Greenhalgh followed taking second place, an improvement to race 1 and scrappy Jason Rickards showed winter sailing a Chew Valley Lake was definitely worth it snuck in a third place result.

Race 3; with everyone starting to feel the leg burn due to the low winds, we were glad this was the last race of the day. The third race was much the same as the first two and now the top boats where finding their feet. Andy Tarboton took 1st place with Peter Greenhalgh showing that all his practice efforts over the winter is paying off taking second. Ian Trotter, a long serving Musto sailor, grabbing third.

With 3 points separating the top three it was heating up to be a very good Sunday.

You may be wondering what happened to the Stokes Bay lot? You remember the excuse I have mentioned a couple of times? 'I haven't sailed much this winter'. Well we have all seen the winter coaching videos which may differ.

So after a hard day's sailing it was off to the Wheatsheaf pub organised by the quiz master himself Dan Vincent. Lots of food and a few beers were enjoyed while chatting about the days' events and the lack of Stokes Bay sailors at the top of the results sheet (a personal highlight).

Carry on reading and you will find out what happened on big Sunday.

Day 2

As we all woke up looked outside we could to tell it was going to be a great day, the sun was shining, birds were singing and best of all breeze was building! The forecast was saying 10-15 but in our bones we knew it was going to be a tad more and I tell you what, we were not wrong.

Race 1; In building breeze the race officer set the line in the middle of the lake. This saw us sent up into the other side of the island. It was very gusty and shifty and the breeze was getting stronger. It was going to be a day of spot the shifts up wind and then try to hook in to huge gust down wind. Linking all this up in the first race of the day was Dan Trotter, although not really featuring in day one Dan managed to get first place and, to make it a family affair, Ian Trotter came in second. Andy Tarborton keeping it consistent, came in third. The overnight leader Pete Greenhalgh had a bad a race coming in ninth. This meant that Andy Tarboton was now first in the standings... but there was all still to play for.

Race 2; breeze still building and gusts getting bigger this made the downhill part pretty exciting but with what seemed to be even bigger holes! Andy Tarboton nailed this one to take a first. Dan Trotter who had some serious pace in the breeze came in second followed in by Peter Greenhalgh in third - keeping the pressure on Andy Tarboton

Race 3; Was the race that Someone From Stokes Bay, other than Andy Tarboton, featured. After all, they have put so much effort in over the winter it would be a real shame not to see them perform. It was Dan Vincent who worked out the shifts and used his lever-like body to swing his Musto Skiff down in the breeze, bringing it home in first place. Followed by another strong performance from Andy Tarboton who took second with Ian Trotter in third proving age is but a number. With Peter Greenhalgh coming it fourth he had a strong weekend but not quite enough, with Andy Tarboton taking first overall.

Massive thanks to Rutland SC for a super event and the race management was second to none!

Tim Olin's photos are at

Next round is at Stokes Bay SC, this event had 47 boats last year and with the worlds coming up this is definitely the event to go and test your skills against some of the best in the world.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoClubHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st525HMYCTarboton Andy‑8113128
2nd567Warsash SCGreenhaugh Peter322‑93414
3rd546DRSCTrotter Ian2532‑9315
4th315 Rickards Jason53666‑1026
5th557Stokes Bay SC/RNSAVincent Dan712‑1544128
6th469Stokes Bay SCPelley R4(OCS)855628
7th527DRSCTrotter Dan‑1491412531
8th582NCSCMolesworth Paul66‑978835
9th461Hamble River SCRogers Tim1045‑13121243
10th384DRSCKeegan Stuart‑12810117945
11th385YDSCPressdee Terry‑171041510746
12th334Yorkshire Dales SCEscritt Ian97716(DNC)1150
13th574WMYCGrogan Jack1111610(DNC)DNC56
14th588TSCOvington Adam111411(RET)131463
15th500Derwent RSCConway Tom1313138(DNC)DNC65
16th97Chew ValleyNuttall James‑15151214141368
17th289Blackwater SCWhittle Andrew16(OCS)171211DNC74

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