Richard Stenhouse wins Musto Skiff Burnham Icicle and over £400 raised for charity

The Musto Performance Skiff invitation event took place at the Royal Corinthian YC, Burnham-on-Crouch on Saturday and a total of £435 was raised for the event charities including Cancer Research UK, Essex Air Ambulance, John Merricks Trust, RNLI and the British Heart Foundation.

This inaugural event for the Skiffs was also the perfect opportunity to resurrect the Burnham Icicle trophy which hadn’t been presented for well over 10 years.

Fortunately the recent wet and windy weather gave way to perfect conditions on Saturday with 8-15kts of westerly breeze blowing straight down the river allowing for five short-sharp, crash and burn-style, windward/leeward races in front of the clubhouse. Spectators also turned out en-mass to enjoy the spectacle and place their bets on some of the hottest Musto Skiff sailors on the circuit while enjoying the winter sun from the balcony of the host club – the Royal Corinthian YC while listening to commentary provided by Alistair ‘Rubberball’ Munroe.

To make the event even more interesting 13 of the club’s youth fleet – the Otters – were chosen to compete with the Skiff sailors in races two and three. Those competitors who opted to take out the Otters received a 50 per cent joker bonus to add to the high points system.

Racing in the 13-strong fleet was dominated by current Gold Cup and UK national champion Richard Stenhouse with Deborah Shanahan (as crew) from the RCYC Otters on the RNLI Helly Hansen Skiff, who led the fleet home in four of the five races. But he didn’t have it all his own way, with the likes of local sailor Dan Dixon sailing DEM Foils, Tynemouth-based Ian Trotter (Victor Boats), Simon Reynolds (Noble Marine Insurance) and Rick Perkins (Harken) giving him a good run for his money.

Chatting about his win an elated Stenhouse told “The event was fantastic and I feel especially honoured to have won the famous Burnham Icicle and have my name engraved alongside some of the country’s best sailors. I hope to be invited to the event next year to defend my title and to help raise more money for these very important charities. I was fortunate to have been supported for the event by the RNLI.”

At the end of a very successful day on the water, half the money collected went directly to charity and the remainder split by those who picked the winner of each of the five individual races. The winner of the bottle of Moët Champagne was Henry Heathfield, who guessed the closest to the maximum speed recorded Stenhouse’s skiff throughout the day. For the record, this was 20.4knots.

It was good also to see, among the 100s of spectators at the event, some of the sailing’s most influential personalities including the likes of Keith Musto – British Flying Dutchman 1964 silver medallist and Managing Director of Musto, and former Contender European champion and designer of the Musto Performance Skiff Joachim Harpprecht, who was not surprisingly delighted about news of the class achieving ISAF status. Chatting to about the status and what it means Harpprecht said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the design has been recognised by ISAF. This milestone means that we’ll now be able to run world championships and be considered for Olympic class status when the time comes.”

Overall Results
1st Richard Stenhouse (RNLI)
2nd Ian Trotter (Victor Boats)
3rd Dan Dixon (DEM Foils)
4th Simon Reynolds (Noble Marine)
5th Rick Perkins ( Harken)
6th Dave Poston (Hi-Tech Sailing)