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ACO 10th Musto Skiff World Championship 2019 at Medemblik - Overall

by Diana Bogaards 13 Jul 09:20 PDT 8-13 July 2019
Final day - ACO 10th MUSTO Skiff World Championship 2019 © Watersport-TV

On Saturday July 13th, Bruce Keen (GBR) kept his nerves and won the close battle for gold at the ACO 10th Musto Skiff World Championship 2019 in Medemblik. It came down to the very last meters on the finish line of the final race. He just beat title defender Jon Newman (AUS), who takes the silver medal home. Meanwhile this morning's leader Rick Peacock (GBR) and runner-up George Hand (GBR) were fighting for bronze. By winning today's third and last bullet, Hand secured the third podium spot.

In the morning the northern breeze was light and variable, but in the afternoon it picked up to about 13 knots. "It was a very exciting and stressful day", said the new triple World Champion visibly relieved. Keen: "It was hard work out there. In the first race, I managed to get ahead of the three other boats that I was close in competition with. Jon won the second one, so it was really close going into the last race. I just had to stay very close to him, so we were together the whole race. He was ahead of me at the top mark. I was able to pass him on the downwind and then I just beat him on the finish line."

This is his third world title after winning in 2012 and 2015, but Keen says it was never that nerve-racking. "The sailing here as well. It was up and down with wind shifts. You never knew what to expect. It is definitely my most hard fought world title. It feels great, but I am not sure whether it has totally sunk in yet, because it has been such a battle the whole time. Half way the week I wasn't doing very well at all and then I kind of pulled it together in the last couple of days. I am sure it will sink in later."

After the victory of Ryan Seaton (IRL) in today's first race, Jon Newman took the second victory and closed the gap. He was two points behind his rival. Newman: "It was very close right up till the last race. I had to get a couple of boats between me and Bruce to win the regatta. I had him up in the first upwind and he got just through me on the downwind and he sat on me the rest of the race. We were match racing. We started next to each other and we were hunting each other on the line. It was a really good cat and mouse. It was great fun."

"I am happy to become second", says Newman, who won gold in 2014 and 2018. "I have had a pretty limited preparation for this event. To be the best you have to beat the best. Me and Bruce have been changing for the last couple of years of who's the best. I have come second to the best, which is alright."

Battle for bronze

This morning, Rick Peacock and George Hand set sail as the overall leader and runner-up and ended up fighting for bronze. Hand won that fight: "I had a tough first one, a reasonable second one and then the last race, thanks to Jon and Bruce playing cat and mouse with each other, I slipped through and got the top point. It has been an eventful week with the breeze up and down. Obviously Jon and Bruce sailed incredibly well, so it is great to be amongst the best."

According to Hand, being nervous this morning, played a role in today's first race. "Then I sort of regrouped, thought about it and had to put some good results in. So, back to the basics; tacking on the shifts and staying in the pressure. I seemed to do well on that. The stress management is a good learning point."

Rick Peacock fell off the podium, but he is nevertheless satisfied with his fourth position overall: "Today's first two races weren't great. I didn't have the right pace, but the last race was better. Going into the last day with chances of winning, I had taken that before the event started. Today, Bruce, Jon and George were a bit better for sure, especially in that lighter stuff. I am still happy."

Reflection by the Class President

After finishing his last race in third place, Andy Tarboton from South-Africa, President of the International Musto Skiff Class Association, reflected on the ACO 10th Musto Skiff World Championship 2019. "I think it has been an incredible week of sailing. Medemblik put on some beautiful conditions and ultimately the right people finished at the top. It is a fair reflection of the event. It has been great to be here. It was very well hosted." Tarboton finished 14th out of 92 participants: "It wasn't my best performance. I came here with higher expectations, but given the quality of the fleet this week here and the number of boats, it has just been very difficult to make it headway." According to Tarboton it was the second largest fleet ever at the Musto Skiff Worlds. "The numbers are looking really good. Worldwide the fleet is on the rise. Even the southern hemisphere is coming through and Europe is still steadily growing."

Top five after 14 races and two discards:

1. Bruce Keen (GBR), 72 points
2. Jon Newman (AUS), 75 points
3. George Hand (GBR), 88 points
4. Rick Peacock (GBR), 89 points
5. Ryan Seaton (IRL), 126 points

First female: Jena Mai Hansen (DEN)
First Under 25: Pim van Vugt (NED)
First Master: Dan Vincent (GBR)
First Grand Master: Ian Trotter (GBR)
First Legend: Nigel Walbank (GBR)

Full results at scoring.sailing.today/app/results-v2.html?event=2019070502

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