Andy Rice
Sailing Today|November 2020
Andy Rice
Rarely do professional sailors return to their racing roots, especially to the dinghy classes - but doing so can bring rewards all round

It’s funny how, when you haven’t raced for so long, that the next club race takes on all the importance of a world championship. With the cancellation of our formal open meeting circuit in the Musto Skiff class, Peter Greenhalgh took it upon himself to organise some racing in the Solent. With a RIB for the committee boat, a laid mark for the pin end, one of the navigation buoys for a windward mark, and a £20 entry fee, we’ve had up to 20 boats competing for five back-to-back heats. Pretty much as soon as the last boat finishes it’s time for the three-minute whistle for the next start sequence. No rest for the wicked, even less for the slow!

At the time we didn’t know if this would end up being the pinnacle of our curtailed 2020 season.

Thankfully our GBR Class Association had had the pre-Covid foresight to book the UK Nationals with Brixham YC, who have done a great job of honouring their schedule of major events; including the 2000 Nationals and the sell-out Musto Skiff Nationals.

The racing itself was great fun, if you like Snakes & Ladders, that is. No lead was ever certain, which also meant no last place was set in stone. Euan Hurter rounded one windward mark in last and rose to the top five by the finish; the young South African finished up fifth overall and top youth.

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November 2020