Apache wins Royal Motor Yacht Club’s Needles Trophy

Second round of Marathon championship takes place in testing sea conditions

The fleet competing in the Royal Motor Yacht Club’s Needles Trophy – the second round of this year’s Marathon series – faced the type of sea conditions most crews fear on Sunday.

But despite this and several craft suffering breakdown, the weather didn’t stop Tony Toll driving Apache into first place.

At just over 100 miles, the Needles Trophy returned to its offshore roots. Instead of a dull, multi-lap contest along the shoreline, the course took the ten-boat Marathon fleet well offshore.

Starting at Bournemouth it headed for the Needles Fairway buoy before going west to Portland and then back to Bournemouth. The event ended with a couple of short laps of Poole Bay.

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Fury, driven by Vahid Ganjavian, was first to pull out with mechanical trouble just after the start.

Bounty Hunter was next to go before PPG Print broke an engine saddle. Others in the smaller Marathon-class outfits were also falling back as a trio of Class 1 contenders slowly moved ahead.

The Fountain Going Lean, driven by Dean Gibbs, and German driver Markus Hendricks aboard Cinzano lay first and second but it wasn’t long before they both suffered loss of full power.

This left Toll and his smooth-running Apache free to set the pace, a position he held for the rest of the race, averaging a respectable 54.82mph.


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