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Farewell to Freddie

Back in Europe, Graham Scott won the Hellerup Europeans and must have looked the firm favourite for when the Worlds came to Plymouth, his ‘home base’. It looked even better for Graham when early on, Bonezzi found a hole in the wind. Whatever the Italian is for the “biggest ****ing hole in sailing” might be, it certainly ranked with the one that did for Barry Watson in Sweden. However, Andrea showed his true class by bouncing back later in the week to win an incredible 4th World title, ahead of Tim Holden and Stuart Jones.
At Garda the following year, Andrea made few mistakes to win the title once again, whilst behind him the growing threat of Marcus Hamilton and Tim Hill let potentially championship winning positions slip from their grasp. Could Andrea now make it ‘3 in a row’ when the fleet went up to Travemünde in Northern Germany?

First though the Contender Fleet had to say a last farewell to Freddie Gale, who finally succumbed after a typically brave and resistant battle with illness.  Freddie’s vision had given the class much of its direction, there was no better tribute to him than the class once again mustering well over 100 boats for its premier event.

A beautiful boat, beautifully built and sailed…beautifully.
Andrea, with his famous I (ITA) 11 leitmotif, showing how to win
– and to keep on winning
Once again it looked like a Bonezzi / Hamilton battle out front, but as the week progressed it was Jan von der Bank who kept his nerve to move into the lead.

The event would be decided on the final day, but then, even after the whole fleet had been towed out to the start area; racing was finally abandoned - leaving Jan as the new Champion.

Jan von der Bank, seen here sailing at full speed to escape some of the more insensitive questioning from the German Press!!