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Musto Skiffs attend Harken One Design Regatta at Largs Sailing Club

by Dylan Noble 25 May 09:59 PDT 20-21 May 2023
Musto Skiffs attend One Design Regatta at Largs © Viv Shelley

Firstly, I'd like to thank Stewart Brewing for sponsoring the event and aiding in the writing of this report. The cases of beer as prizes are much appreciated....

With another not-so-appealing forecast thinning the field before the event, a lean six made the trip to join the two local Musto Skiffs helmed by Luca De Jong and Steve Robson, with a few managing to get the majority of the weekend's wind on the Friday afternoon.

Saturday Morning: After a short postponement, a gentle 1-2 filled in from the South, which the PRO made the most out of, and got us under way swiftly. The Musto's were the last fleet to start, so we were all well aware of the tide's eagerness to push us over the line, and after watching a few recalls in the other fleets, we all got away cleanly... except for Jamie Hilton.

Jamie, clearly having starboard over the committee, wasn't enough for them to get out of the way, the result of which meant he banged the committee boat, then hard right and obviously led round the windward mark followed by Euan Hurter and Ian Trotter.

It was great to see that Jono Shelley didn't let his Achilles injury stop him from getting involved in the action and the wrong side of the jury boat, by getting his 'photo' speed boat in the mix at the top of this first beat. Jamie made a great call not to gybe early on the downwind, which extended his lead comfortably. He kept his lead to the finish with the only change in the top three being Ollie Bull slipping past Ian for third.

The wind for the second race skewed the course slightly limiting passing options on the downwind, which I wasn't complaining about since I was in the lead. Unfortunately, Ian and Jamie gybing off didn't pay for them, which allowed Euan and Ollie through to take second and third respectively.

The PRO did well to get the final race of the day under way in a dying breeze within a minute of the 5pm cut off time. At the top mark the leaders did what Ian Trotter later confessed in the bar to be what all his VAST sailing experience had taught him to do - go into shore away from the opposing tide in nice breeze.

Admittedly, this looked to be the correct option on paper, but unfortunately, on water paper gets wet and the wily sea dog didn't have his day this time. However, this did lead to some great banter in the club bar after racing between himself, Euan, Steve R, and I, who all went the 'wrong way' and into the lead.

Seeing that the wind was fading, the PRO shortened the course, finishing us at the bottom mark. Ollie came out of the shore-side group well, but unfortunately, half a boat length shy of taking line honours away from Euan. Steve definitely gets the 'nicest guy in the fleet' award for letting me cross him earlier on the downwind, following me across the line for fourth.

The absolute highlight of the day and event was the fleet BBQ and social hosted by Jono, Carolyn Shelley, and Natalie Hilton. It was held at the Shelley residence, subjecting us to probably the best view I've ever seen from a house and food to match. The great festivities also had no reason to be cut short since the forecast was for even less wind the next day.

The optimistic award must go to Tom Conway, who only took his boat off the top of his double stacker after the wind filled in on Saturday, 30 minutes before we launched, and had his boat packed up and back on it before 8am on the Sunday. This turned out to be the correct tactical decision as, unfortunately, all racing was abandoned by midday.

This gave the super consistent overnight leader, Euan Hurter, the event win with Ollie second and me completing the podium earning the pressure of another report!

As previously mentioned, big thanks to Stewart Brewing who supplied some great prizes for the Musto Skiff sailors (including youth sailor, Ollie, who was awarded one of the impressively large, branded water bottles), and to Harken who sponsored the actual event. Another big thanks to Julia, and all the Largs SC team and race committee who hosted a great event.

We're now all looking forward to hopefully a windier event in a couple of weeks' time at North Berwick for the East Lothian Yacht Club Open Regatta over 3rd and 4th June.

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