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Tarboton tops the Musto Skiff Class at the Turbo Asymmetric Open 2021 at Restronguet Sailing Club

by George Cousins 9 Sep 22:09 PDT 4-5 September 2021

Restronguet SC were delighted to host the inaugural Turbo Asymmetric Open over 4th and 5th September. Eight Musto Skiffs attended with a 50:50 mix of locals and visitors.

The fleet arrived to a promising forecast with a moderate ESE wind, which had already settled in by late morning. Unsurprisingly, Andy Tarboton was the first to launch, if only an hour before race 1, a little tardy by his standards. Unbeknown to him, Dan Vincent and Nigel Walbank had arrived on Friday and sneaked in a training session.

Race 1

With the tide ebbing, the current was plugging from left to right across the course, resulting in a bunch at the starboard end on the start line.

Most boats elected to start at the starboard end and those that tacked off early found more wind on the right. Vincent showed good speed upwind, outpointing the others to lead at the top mark. Tarboton, Cousins and Pelley had a bit of a tussle allowing Vincent to extend his lead.

Post-race, some 'racing driver' excuses were overheard; some competitors unsure on the location of the deep-water channel, others blaming passing yachts for getting in their way, while Cousins blamed his poor performance on a lost knob from his tiller extension.

Race 2

Cousins, emboldened by his new knob, led at mark 1. Thereafter, Tarboton got his eye in to win the race, with Pelley and Vincent enjoying close racing. There were some big holes on the run with Pelley managing to find good pressure to bring him right back into contention to take third, just behind Vincent.

Race 3

With the tide now slack and the shifts seemly random (to me at least), it was all about spotting pressure. The fleet was a bit keen with 'all boats over' according to the Race Officer, John Bailey, resulting in a general recall.

Second time lucky, the fleet got away. Cousins was way back, which somewhat hampered his ability to recount what actually happened at the front for the event report. However, from afar, it was great to see Walbank up in the mix - who seemed to find pace by doing fewer tacks and heading right upwind. Tarboton and Vincent were upfront trading places followed by Pelley, until lap 3, where Cousins capitalised on some good pressure and banged the left corner downwind to finish third. Bad luck for Pelley who banged the other corner verging on a neighbouring Cornish Shrimper racecourse only to find a wind hole and bemused Shrimper crews.

Race 4

The RO took the good decision to capitalise on the conditions and run an extra race on Saturday. The breeze had built quite nicely now with full sunshine. With 12 knots at the bottom of the course, but only eight-ish knots in the shelter of the shore at the windward mark, getting the first gust was the aim of the game.

Tarboton and Cousins were first to gybe set, which seemed to pay. Vincent and Pelley electing to straight set more often. After a few place changes, Tarboton took the win again followed with Vincent in third.

Once ashore, competitors enjoyed beers and pizza in late summer sunshine with the usual platitudes from local sailors: "It's not usually this shifty you know...", etc.

Sunday offered up less wind. I'm not sure how many knots exactly but whatever that awkward amount is in-between trapezing on the rack and the gunwale - that was it.

Race 5

By the start of race 5, Cornish mist/drizzle or 'mizzle' had set in. As the wind and visibility dropped, there were multiple place changes with Vincent, Pelley and Tarboton leading at one stage. Pelley worked the right and did far fewer tacks, which seemed to pay off. Juxtaposed to this, Tarboton and Cousins were embroiled in a frantic tacking duel up the middle trying to chase puffs.

Race 6

After the first lap, Cousins managed to capitalise on a stroke of good luck spotting some breeze first and gybing six times to stay in the narrow band of pressure to lead for three laps. On the final windward mark, Cousins and Tarboton split, Cousins gybe setting with Tarboton spotting some pressure and electing to straight set and lead into the finish. Despite getting caught in a wind hole on the first lap, Vincent was on a late charge but couldn't quite reel in Tarboton or Cousins to finish third.

Well done to Andy Tarboton for the win showing consistency in tricky conditions. Thank you to all the visitors who made the trip, as well as the race team for laying on six great races. A special mention also to Dave, Troy and Tom who all got out racing despite an 18-month hiatus from the boat.

Finally, much thanks to Hyde Sails for the podium winner champagne prizes as part of the UK circuit Hyde Sails Series. The final event of this six-event series will happen at the end of the month at Dalgety Bay SC for the Scottish and Northern Skiff National Championship on 25/26 September.

Overall Results: (full Turbo Asymmetric Open 2021 results available here)

PosSail NoTypeHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1590MUSTO SKIFAndy TarbotonNAHenley Midmar Yacht Club‑2111126
2622MUSTO SKIFDan VincentNAStokes Bay/ RNSA122‑44312
3297MUSTO SKIFGeorge CousinsNARestronguet SC3‑5422415
41568INTERNATIOLiam StacpooleWayne BarnicoatRestronguet SC663‑73119
5516MUSTO SKIFRichard PelleyNAStokes Bay43‑835621
61171RS 800James PentyEddie GraysonBeaver SC54556‑725
7394MUSTO SKIFNigelNALymington Town SC777‑87533
81166RS 800Ralph SingletonJames WilkinsonRestronguet SC‑88668836
931329erNuala SellwoodWill SymondsRestronguet SC109(RET)DNC9950
10373MUSTO SKIFTom GilbertNARestronguet SC9(RET)RETDNCDNCDNC61
11114MUSTO SKIFDavid Buzzard Restronguet SC11(DNF)RETDNCRETRET63
12181MUSTO SKIFTroy ChristensenNARestronguet SC(DNF)DNFRETDNCDNCDNC65

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