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Musto Skiffs at the 2022 Ullswater Daffodil Regatta

by Jamie Hilton 27 Apr 05:15 PDT 23-24 April 2022
Jono Shelley in the Musto Skiffs during the Ullswater Daffodil Regatta © Steve Robson

Watching the forecast all week and I knew it would be a roll of the dice how much sailing we'd get in at the weekend, but the ever-powerful FOMO won out and I made the trek from Aberdeen to Ullswater. Great job I did too, as we were treated to some epic sailing and another early season catch up with the band of merry men.

With 30kts ripping down lake from the NE, Saturday was always going to be a struggle. With the customary bacon rolls in hand, we watched footage of Billy Maughan, who'd arrived a day early, tearing it down the lake on Friday and again first light on Saturday. The keen bean was trying to get his boat time in ahead of his Sunday being robbed for a family wedding, but for the green eyed amongst us, it left us hankering to get out there for some flat-water blasting.

With the AP up, it was great to catch up with mates on the club veranda enjoying the company of friends, the stupendous back drop, and the amazing traybakes the local kiddie-winkles were flogging to fund their new club jackets. So, with tea and scones consumed the flag went up to signal abandonment for the day. Rather unsurprisingly the Musto fleet took this as a signal to rig up and get out there. And what a giggle it was. Smashing it up wind with everything on max and then simply hanging on for the downwind was just brilliant fun. Big shout to Robbo (Steve Robson) who thought the rib might be a better option and he managed to film some of the action and witness Danny Boatman even throwing in a few gybes.

Back ashore, and without any major wounds to lick, there was a clamour to check out the GPS stats where the max was showing 22.3kts. The boys were buzzing, glad of the blast, and fully accepting there was no hope in hell we could have raced in that. It wasn't long before the beers arrived to lubricate the tales of the day.

Sunday started rather invitingly with what looked like a stunning day for the five(!) races scheduled. A quick check of the phone/forecast showed that was all part of the programme before the north easterly would crank up a few notches to high teens, gusting high twenties. The fleet took to the water, and it wasn't long before the wind picked up to forecast. Edmond Clarke rather skilfully took sanctuary in a harbour on the far shore, while others were keeping out of harm's way as best they could, eyes peeled for other boats.

Into the start sequence and it seemed everyone was going for the time run approach, all boats converging to hit the line at full chat. Was pretty shifty up the beat with the fleet splitting left and right, similar down the run, trying to max time in the best pressure and hoping it wasn't a header. The racing was super close, though, and the first leeward mark was epic with 6 boats abreast of each other sharing smiles as we rounded. However, with only a handful of boats adhering to the instruction of passing through the start line each lap, for many of the guys their efforts were wasted with DNFs recorded. This handed the race win to Bob Yeamans, his first race back since returning to the fleet. Great to have you back Bob. Clearly still got it and a right giggle to have you around.

Navigation sorted and we buckled in for the next four races. This soon turned into a Euan and Jono show both pushing each other, taking it to a final race winner takes all. Jono was looking pretty solid all day, great speed upwind and surprisingly cat like reactions for a big fella. Euan, though, was driving the boat hardest downwind always looking for the next big pressure and eager the get the boat flying every opportunity. There were sporadic cameos from Hilton and Boatman, but Jamie couldn't string two good laps together, while Danny was forced to limp home having somehow ripped off his tiller. Great to get five races in, all really closely fought, and everyone had their moments.

Back ashore, smiles all round, tales of "what-if..." and "that gust completely flattened me", and then a beauty from Bob who had us all in stitches when his sports watch said he'd need four days of recovery!

In the end, Jono maintains his crown as the King of Ullswater with Euan taking a close second to back up his win earlier in the month at Yorkshire Dales. His stock is rising. Hilton rounded off the podium a distant third and a recognition he has work to do.

Big thanks to Ullswater YC; super friendly as per always and a really well run regatta.

Next up for the Scottish and Northern series we have Largs on May 21/22, as we make our preparations for the Worlds at Kiel in June.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st26Jonathan ShelleyUllswater Yacht Club(DSQ)13116
2nd305Euan HurterPoint YC / Dalgety Bay SC(DSQ)21227
3rd593Jamie HiltonDalgety Bay Sailing Club23‑54312
4th549Robert RichardsonRoyal Windermere Yacht Club3‑745416
5th481Josh MoranUllswater Yacht Club(DSQ)463518
6th332Robert YeamansAberdeen and Stonehaven Yacht Club16‑76619
7th628Danny BoatmanSunderland Yacht Club(DSQ)52RETDNS31
8th526Paul AndersonLargs(DNS)DNSDNSDNSDNS48
8th620Steve RobsonSunderland Yacht Club(DNS)DNSDNSDNSDNS48
8th374Alistair KerrAberdeen and Stonehaven Yacht Club(DNS)DNSDNSDNSDNS48
8th432Edmund ClarkeUllswater Yacht Club(RET)DNSDNSDNSDNS48

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