Musto Skiffs to compete at Grafham Grand Prix

New single-hander poses handicapping problem for organisers

Friday December 22nd 2000, Author: Andy Rice, Location: United Kingdom
The Musto Skiff will be making its first competitive appearance at the Grafham Grand Prix on New Year’s Eve. Entries to the handicap event are closed with 210 boats entered. One of the problems for the organisers will be determining a fair handicap for the as-yet-untested Musto Skiff, two of which will be present - one helmed by former Lark national champion and 505 expert Ian Walters, the other by 29er sailor Jim Baldwin.

The 29er contingent will be one of the largest at the Grand Prix, with 15 entered into the Fast Handicap division, whilst a fleet of 17 Flying Fifteens make up the largest fleet in Slow Handicap. With a smattering of 49ers, RS800s and B14s, the fast division will be particularly hotly contested. Amongst the bigger names are Dave Hall in a 49er, Will Sunnocks in a Hurricane 5.9 and Tim Rush, who won the slow division last year in a Kestrel, but this year returns in a Fireball.

Peter Waghorn, one of the event’s organisers, said one thing that might surprise visitors to Grafham is the fact that the water level is going down, despite all the flooding. "It’s no real problem - there’s plenty of water left - but they can’t fill up the reservoir from the river Ouse because it’s so polluted by having broken its banks," he told madforsailing. "So whilst you might expect the reservoir to be full, they are not in a position to replenish it at the moment."

One of the problems for the reservoirs since the water privatisation under the Tories is that many of them have been moved from being ‘holding’ reservoirs to ‘working’ reservoirs. Datchet Water near Heathrow has been particularly hard hit over the past few years with a full reservoir during the rainier winter months but severely depleted during the thirsty summer months.
And don't forget you can enter the madforsailing sponsored Bloody Mary on-line, just click here for the entry form, Sailing Instructions and Notice of Race - how easy can we make it? After if you want tickets for the Lark Party, then the man in the know is right here.

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