04 Nov Gallon 2008
Twenty boats gathered on the start line in the 15 – 20kt breeze, with a short beat followed by a screaming run right across the harbour, the next mark saw the first four, Lennon/Rice, Duchesne/Spike, Partington/Partington and Patterson/Ash locked in a close battle.
The next lap saw much place changing as the combination of current and wind shifts gave many opportunities. By the end of the lap Jones/McClean had climbed into the group of leaders and at the end of the lap passed Patterson and Partington to take second place behind Lennon now leading.
The start of the last lap saw Jones leading with Partington and Lennon in close pursuit, the conditions remained steady and on the flat water the boats were charging upwind at more than 12kts and achieving blistering pace on the downwind legs. Now over 2 hours into the race in ‘full on’ conditions the crews where summoning every ounce of strength to drive on to the finish. All through the fleet close battles were taking place with places to be made as tired crews succumbed to unforced errors.
The last lap saw Jones and Partington neck and neck, never more than 100 meters between them with Lennon nipping at their heals. The final tacking duel into the finish saw Partington take the winners gun after an epic two and a half hour duel.
Verdict: Great racing throughout the fleet, superb course, perfect conditions, and very tired crews, an awesome event!