24 Oct Hayling Hull 2006
Father and son team, Andy and Tom Partington won the International 14 Hayling Hull on the 11 / 12 November at HISC. The first open meeting since the GBR fleet had returned from the recent World Championships in Los Angeles, and with sailors itching to get on the water, this was always going to be a hard fought open. Couple that with classic shifty, gusty conditions in Chichester Harbour, and the Partingtons did not have an easy ride.
Saturday’s conditions made racing tough, especially for the sailors who, eager not to miss the final open of the season, had just teamed up. Consistency won the day, with the Partingtons and Jamie Shelton and Graham White tied each with a 1, 2 scoreline. But it’s not over till the proverbial lady sings. The conditions were slightly kinder on Sunday and, with a day’s practice under their belts, far more masts were pointing the right way up. Hayling Bay delivered the perfect conditions for the exhilarating sailing that makes the 14 the premier skiff. The Partingtons had first place in the bag with a bullet in the first race, then got their two worst results, allowing Mike Lennon and Kimball Morrison to catch up to within a point to take second overall, with Shelton / White third.
Andy Partington said, when asked what it is like sailing a 14 with his son. “Sailing with Tom is something really special, it isn’t something we planned as a family, it just sort of happened when I didn’t have a crew, but now 14 sailing is in his blood and he’s incredibly keen. We’ve practiced a lot and now we are on the top pace it’s great and very rewarding. There’s a group of young sailors now who would love to sail 14s, they just need the chance like Tom and it’s easy to seewhere the next generation of 14 sailors will come from !”
And they are not alone. Previous POW winners, including veteran 14 sailor Martin Jones, are teaming up with their sons and joining the influx of sailors into the class in anticipation of the 80th Anniversary of the prestigious Prince of Wales Cup Week next year. Hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, from 18 – 24 August, 2007’s POW promises to be an exciting mix of innovation and tradition. And – of course – fantastic racing for competitors and spectators alike. Is there any other boat to sail in 2007?
1st Andy & Tom Partington
2nd Mike Lennon & Kimball Morrison
3rd Jamie Shelton and Graham White