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30 June 2004, 03:58 pm
Jalfrezi|s Gareth THOMAS Ready For Sprint Back To Torquay
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2004 Triangle Race
Treguier, Brittany

Gareth THOMAS, a surgeon from Plymouth in the south west of England, has only recently taken to offshore racing, and believes the only way to do it is short handed, and he is already making his mark on this scene.
Last year he won the AZAB race, his first ever long distance, shorthanded race, which he modestly attributes to, "a bit lucky in that, with a few wind shifts and a few gales in the right direction, and had a bit of sport one way or another."

Now he is leading the Triangle Race, with just the final leg from Treguier back to Torquay to sail, and he along with crew Trevor Griffiths will be putting in the maximum effort.

Explaining why he has chosen shorthanded sailing he says, "I've just got into this offshore sailing, and you've got to do it two handed, there's just not enough to do for a full crew, it's just a waste of everybody's time."

Though there were probably times on the last leg of the Triangle Race, from Crosshaven to Treguier, when he would have liked more hands, particularly coming into the finish.

They had to get past a tide gate and the wind went light, "we were both up trimming the kite all night, we didn't get any sleep at all, we just kept the boat moving at 5 to 6 knots, which you've got to do."

Unlike many of the competitors in the Triangle Race, Gareth is not in it just to complete it, "I don't do races to come second, you've got to do good prep, you've got to want to win these things, there's no point in racing if you don't want to win, if you don't feel you have a chance."

Looking forward to the sprint across the English Channel, he believes it will be fast and furious, "really on this leg it is just going to be a blast reach, it's just going to be a point and shoot.

"We are just going to have to get the fastest rig up, which is probably going to be the heavy number 1, and full main, but the boat just hates being overpowered, and goes faster with a number 3 and maybe a reef or two, from time to time. But we won't be able to get the kites up unfortunately, with the present wind direction."


The final leg of the Triangle Race starts from Treguier at 08:00 local time, with strong westerly winds forecast.
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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