It was a hard fought contest, but Gee, the oldest boat in the RBR, ended the race with a 2 hour lead on rivals
Gee, the oldest boat in the Round Britain Race, took overall honours in the Historic Class yesterday, romping home 20 minutes ahead of nearest rivals Team 747.
This gave the team, which MBM has been following throughout the event , an overall lead over the rest of the field of almost two hours.
The overall winner of the race was Greek entry Blue FTP, which completed the eight legs of the RBR in an overall time of 20 hours, 36 minutes and 47 seconds.
Gee’s overall time of 34 hours, 17 minutes and 21 seconds put her 22nd in the overall standings – not bad for a boat 40 years old.
The party didn’t take long to get started after teams arrived back in Portsmouth’s Gunwharf Quays yesterday.
Blue Marlin, the German team of Markus Hendricks that sank in the first leg to Plymouth, chartered a Sunseeker Predator 72 to meet the fleet as it neared Portsmouth.
And it was at the party aboard this boat that MBM caught up with the team from Gee. Below, Gee’s driver John Guille gives us his thoughts on the RBR’s final leg.
“The leg started off at 8.30am, and it was petty calm so 747 pulled ahead, but we were flat out all the way – didn’t want them to get too far ahead. Even though we had the overall lead, we wanted to make sure. It got a bit rougher as we got to the Thames Estuary and then round the corner at Ramsgate it really started to bump up a bit, and once past Dover it started to hit us on the nose. We had managed to fix our trim tabs by cutting up an old broom handle. We unscrewed the cylinder heads of the trim tabs, stuck a bit of wood from the broom in there to hold trim tabs down, so it was nice to get the bow down for once. It really helped the boat in the head sea.
We then managed to pull past 747 before Brighton – we just took a direct route, straight lining it across bays, while they hugged the coast. We maintained that lead all the way to the end. We finished about 20 minutes ahead of them in the end. The German guys hired a massive Sunseeker and he stuck all the number 99 on the side of it and he ran with us the last few miles, which was a nice touch. It was a good feeling coming into Portsmouth, the owners of Gee were really really excited. Just a nice feeling that we’d made it all the way round. Finally Gee has been round Britain (Gee was leading the first ever RBR in 1969 but was forced to retire).”
Photo: Team Gee celebrate victory in the Historic Class