Musto Skiffs to compete at Grafham Grand Prix
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.