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Musto Skiff Racing at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex

Monday, 18 December 2006
Saturday 9th December 2006

Following several weeks of windy and wet weather the event was held in brilliant sunshine and 8-15 knots of westerly breeze, which brought the crowds out to watch the spectacular close racing.

This trophy was originally presented by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club as the premier dinghy winter handicap trophy attracting the top sailors from the UK dinghy scene by invitation from the 1950’s – 1990’s. Sailors such as Roger Angell, Keith Musto and Peter Bateman are some of the previous winners. So it proved to be a great way for the sailors to celebrate their recent ISAF status achievement, and race to be added to this long list of famous sailors.

Club members and guests laid bets with the Musto team of girls, led by Sarah Hastwell. Half the money went directly to charity and the remainder being split by those who picked the winner of each of the 5 individual races. To add to the fun, 13 of the club’s youth fleet, the Otters, were picked out of a hat to take part with the skiff sailors in one of the races.

When this happened, each boat's position received a 50% joker bonus, and hence the results were calculated by a high points system. The kids all seemed to have a great time, and were given crewing jobs on the skiffs, such as trimming the spinnaker on the downwind legs. All had big smiles as they came ashore, and Deborah Shanahan, Otter Commodore, mentioned that all the weekends of coaching that the club lays on for the Otters proved invaluable.

There were 5 races over short courses in front of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club for the several hundred spectators’ watching from the club and seawall.

Racing was dominated by current Gold Cup and UK National Champion Richard Stenhouse with Deborah Shanahan (as his crew) from the RCYC Otters on the RNLI Helly Hansen skiff, who led the fleet home in 4 of the 5 races. However, he was given good competition from local sailor Dan Dixon sailing DEM Foils, as well as Ian Trotter (Victor Boats), Simon Reynolds (Noble Marine Insurance) and Rick Perkins (Harken).

Between the club, skiffs and friends £435.15 was raised for the event charities, which were:
- Cancer Research UK
- Essex Air Ambulance
- John Merricks Trust
- British Heart Foundation

Racing was managed by PRO Edwin Buckley and his team, and onshore commentary was supplied by Alistair Munro and Paul Manning, who provided updates and banter on the racing.

Full event results are available from the club website. Royal Corinthian Yacht Club Website

Musto Skiff Class Website

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