Good deed

The Musto Skiff fleet held a special Charity event in Burnham on Crouch

Monday December 11th 2006, Author: Rick Perkins, Location: United Kingdom
The Musto Performance Skiff fleet raced at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham on Crouch on Saturday 9 December for the Burnham Icicle Trophy. Following several weeks of windy and wet weather the event was held in brilliant sunshine and an 8-15 knot 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 five 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 five 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 four of the five 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.

There was also a bottle of Moët champagne won by Henry Heathfield, who guessed closest to the maximum speed recorded on Richard Stenhouse’s skiff throughout the day. For the record, this was 20.4knots, Yachts and Yachting and Garmin were thanked for letting them use this idea in the event.

Paul Manning from Victor Boats thanked the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Commodore Martin Makey, Paul Noonan who provided the instant result service, the rescue team, which included the local RNLI boat and crew, and all who helped to make the day a great success.

Paul also thanked his project partners Ovington Boats, and the major class suppliers Harken, Selden, Hyde Sails, DEM Foils and Hi-tech Sailing as well as their main sponsor Musto Ltd and sponsors Blue Marine and Greatkit/Gerber for their generous support of the class.

Martin Makey, Commodore of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, thanked the class for the great spectator sport, and looked forward to having them back in ’07.

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