Rutland 18 Foot Skiffs
Last weekend was the UK 18ft Skiff Nationals in Plymouth and two Rutland teams made their way down to have a crack at the national title. Tom Hill and his usual crew of Mark Kudlinski and Michael Andrew head down in their newly refurbished grey skiff with striking union jack cockpit under the team name “Rutland”. They are still owners of their old white skiff they have trained in at the club over the many years. This skiff was taken down by Anthony Chapman and his scratch crew of Josh Wilce and Matt Hollis sailing under the name of “AC Boatworks”. Neither had sailed trapeze boats in a while and neither had stepped foot on an 18 before- what could possibly go wrong!
The first day’s racing was a windy one, so boats were on the smaller of their two rigs. Ant, Josh and Matt had a lot to learn very quickly, but definitely didn’t embarrass themselves getting in front of skiffs that had been sailing together for many years before. Tom, Mark and Mike had moments of brilliance at the front of the fleet, but seem to be attracted to buoys and other boats and threw away impressive leads to end with an average day.
The second day was less windy but nonetheless excitingly breezy for the big rigs, which both teams launched. Rutland had a great day, finding some quick settings in the new boat. AC Boatworks also coped in the breeze with everyone surprised that Matt on the bow said he “actually quite enjoyed today” – a far cry from his comments the day before, something about “never stepping into one of those things again”.
The final day was much lighter, but the scorecard was looking incredibly tight, with both Rutland teams on joint points sitting on the bottom two steps of the podium. This meant the boats seemed to find themselves sailing against each other and ignoring the rest of the fleet. The teams both took a race ahead of the other, but after discards came in, Ant and his team on AC Boatworks slipped in front, finishing third overall and Tom and the team on Rutland a single point behind in fourth.
Both teams had an awesome time over the weekend and look forward to getting to the final events in the calendar this year.