24 Oct Tiger Trophy 2007
After the excitement of the Bloody Mary earlier in the year, expectations were high of a good turn out for the Tiger Trophy at Rutland Water on 3/4 February. A light airs forecast however put paid to that. In the end the grand total of 2 International 14’s joined a mixed symmetric and asymmetric fleet of 158 boats and were greeted by bright sunshine and winds that struggled to reach force 2 for the majority of the weekend.
The average laps fleet racing on the Saturday was reduced to a single race as the breeze struggled to co-operate. With a large fleet of 29ers demonstrating much “youthful exuberance” on a very heavily committee boat biased start-line, clean air was crucial to any hopes of a good result. With starting at a premium, the younger elements of the fleet were keen to get as much practice as possible. resulting in a general recall.
On the restart, Andy and Tom Partington decided that, discretion being the better part of valour, to sacrifice the favoured end for clear air. A decision that clearly paid off as they were able to quickly make gains by sailing the wind lines without interference from other boats working into 6th place by the end of the 2 laps.
With racing abandoned for the day, the fleet were able to pack up in time to watch the rugby and enjoy the delight that is the Tiger Trophy Dinner, an event in which, by all accounts, standards of behaviour exceeded only those seen on the start line earlier in the day! Sunday dawned equally sunny and with the wind again struggling to blow more than force one for the non-discardable pursuit race. Both 14s were able to make quick gains against the slower boats and at each mark, Andy and Tom crucially were able to pull in front of rafts of boats resulting in them being able to make sustained gains around the race track. By the end of the race, they had pulled through to 8th. Consistency over the 2 races was always being to be the key to a good result and this left the Partingtons in 3rd overall.
This result, together with their earlier 38th at the Bloody Mary, puts the Partingtons in first place overall for the International 14 pursuit race series. Next event is the open meeting at Weston Sailing Club, organised by TASA, on 17/18 February. See you all there!
Andy/Tom Partington, GBR1503, 6, 8, 3rd overall
Matt Critchley/Dion Houghton, GBR1480, 66, 39, 44th overall