In 1980 legendary New Zealand yachting commentator Peter Montgomery watched as two all-time greats of small boat sailing – who in their own way changed the discipline for ever – went at it head to head in the all-or-nothing final race of the windy Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna. The breeze never dropped below 30kt and on the final beat of the final race the two protagonists would tack no fewer than 32 times apiece. But immense though this gladiatorial contest was, it was just the beginning of a bigger political and sporting story that would later impact many members of a dazzling new generation of sailing talent
In an atmosphere of rising global tension with the USSR on the cusp of invading Afghanistan, the 1980 Finn Gold Cup turned into a battle of epic proportions between two extraordinary US sportsmen, 1978 winner John Bertrand and 1979 champion Cam Lewis. Lewis eventually triumphed for his second world title after a spectacular final race.
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