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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

International 14 Gallon Trophy at Itchenor Sailing Club

by George Yeoman 8 Jul 19:01 BST 7 July 2024
International 14 Gallon Trophy © Ben Willis

The Gallon is the second most important championship in the International 14 calendar after the Prince of Wales Cup. This epic 2-3 hour tour around Chichester harbour is not for the faint hearted and this year was no different.

Originally planned for Saturday 6th, 30 knot squally winds postponed the race until Sunday where 10 boats braved the conditions and took to the water.

PRO, Roddy Bridge, and team laid a course which was primarily windward leewards between ‘Dunes’, at the harbour entrance, and ‘Park’, on the Bosham shore. The fleet started in a solid 18 knots with a couple of casualties in the start sequence as the squally conditions made challenging boat handling in the starting area. Glen Truswell & Ed FitzGerald were quickest out the blocks towards the pin, with Pete Bromley & Hugh Maclean leading from the ship and these 2 with Andy Shaw & Rob Stuckett and George & Jack Yeoman in hot pursuit.

Up the first beat Glen & Ed and Andy & Rob pulled out a lead where they were going hammer and tong at each other on a full power downwind but the rest of the fleet rounded in much calmer conditions as rain clouds killed off the existing breeze. Andy & Rob were unlucky as this hit them halfway down the run and they capsized to windward allowing Glen & Ed to extend unchallenged and build up a substantial lead. Pete & Hugh called the downwind layline best with the new breeze and caught all the way up to Andy & Rob at the leeward with George & Jack rounding just behind. In the lighter breeze George & Jack were able to sniggle their way up to 2nd (a bit of Salcombe Week practice coming in handy) whilst Alex Knight & James Clark also made inroads catching up with Andy & Rob on the right-hand side.

As the teams came to the top mark for the 2nd time Glen & Ed were gone, and George & Jack looked to have built a decent buffer, but the wind continued to go right, and they overstood the windward allowing Andy & Rob to round directly behind them and overhaul them down the run as they split towards Thorney Island with Pete & Hugh in hot pursuit.

Down the run the breeze came back with a bang, and gusts of over 20 knots ravaged the fleet. It was so much that it meant people were caught unawares of the change of course which extended the beat to SW Pilsey by Hayling Island. Pete & Hugh were first of the leading pack to get caught out, blown over on the upwind leg. Andy & Rob put the afterburners and extended away from George & Jack, but the elastic between these teams was too strong and Andy & Rob kindly took a second swim in a two-sail gybe set whilst George & Jack caught up. As it turns out Glen & Ed had done the same but were too far ahead at this point for anyone to have noticed.

A screaming power reach back left everyone with a proper adrenaline rush as the chop around Pilsey subsided into flat water with the 14’s hitting over 20 knots of boat speed! At this point Andy & Rob had reestablished a dominant 2nd place with George & Jack clear 3rd from Pete & Hugh with seemingly only the Pascal brothers and James Cunnison & Tim Gratton left standing. But as with every Gallon to finish first, first you have to finish...

But there was no such drama for Glen & Ed who took an emphatic victory with not another boat in sight, a truly masterful performance ahead of the Garda World Championships.

However, the battle for 2nd took a twist, Andy & Rob took a 3rd swim as they went for their first gybe of the final run and, with George & Jack 2 sail reaching to East Head for the bear away, an unlikely game of cat and mouse was on. Once upright Andy & Rob were still in 2nd but low on the lay line having to drop the kite to make Park. George & Jack capitalised on this, rounding the leeward mark right on their transom but more importantly with the kite up and rolled straight in to a gybe to take 2nd, and positioned themselves between Andy & Rob for the reach to the finish and take 2nd place through sheer will power of staying upright... which then failed them as soon as they crossed the line and promptly went swimming.

Pete & Hugh were 4th, Pasclis were 5th and James & Tim ground out a finish to finish 6th in a real battling performance with Tim having only been in a 14 a handful of times (although his CV would suggest he is more than capable).

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelm & CrewR1Pts
1stScrumpet1553Glen Trusswell & Ed FitzGerald11
2ndBooby1570George Yeoman & Jack Yeoman22
3rdBubble1569Andy Shaw & Rob Struckett33
4thChimera1572Peter Bromley & Hugh Maclean44
5thDragon1558Robin & Martin Pascal55
6thPamela1544James Cunnison & Tim Gratton66
7thJungle Fire1546Charles Duchesne & Tom BracewellRET10
7thSmash It1530Alex Knight & James ClarkRET10
7thSeeking Pink1575Andy Fitzgerald & Dan JohnsonDNS10

The fleet has one more weekend of racing before the big migration to the skiff sailing mecca which is Torbole, Lake Garda for the World Championships 29 July - 9th August. The Brits are in good positions to be challenging for the top spots after the wind POW week and Gallon, follow us on social media for updates:

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