In the pre-dawn light the first boat to arrive at Caernarfon this morning just before 4am was Wandering Glider. While the monohulls they had been racing alongside overnight had to wait at low water at Caernarfon Bar the trimaran continued into the Menai Strait, dropping off runners Dan Withers and Mike Ridley.
The pair gave an estimated time of 6 hours for the Snowdon run and were well on their way to the summit before the second multihull arrived. This was Peaky Blinders, who came in at 5.44, and the third and final multihull, Don’t Look Down, arrived at 7.15.
There were mixed comments from the crew on Don’t Look Down as they dropped their runners off. One said, “The sailing was brilliant, the best night of my life,” while another said, “I’m knackered!” Their runners took their time at the kit check and Roddy Sandeman said, “I slept most of the way, “ while Texa Sim commented, “My bunk was wet. I don’t know how I got the wet one!”
The first monohull to arrive, leading in a rush of boats who had all been waiting for water off Caernarfon Bar, was The Dougie Dalzell Memorial Trust at 5.35 and their runners said. “We were not waiting at Caernafon Bar and came straight in, but it was a bit chaotic on board, with lots of shouting going on up on deck!” Daniel Ayers said he had been seasick most of the way and neither runner had had much sleep, but they were at least setting off up Snowdon in fine conditions.
The first monohull to cross the bar had been Roaring Forties but Cris Miles told me, “We ran aground just by the C7 buoy and watched the others come past us, which was deeply frustrating.” He said the sailing was superb, and all the teams made similar comments after a moonlit night of 4 to 5 South Westerlies. Jez Robinson told me, “We were doing 8 to 9 knots much of the way and once around Bardsey had the spinnaker up, though we were into the tide then. It was near perfect conditions.”
The marshals stop each pair of runners for a 5 minute kit check, and the runners are instructed to use the tracker to report their position on the summit and also to take a selfie there. (What would Tilman have thought of that?!)
The prize for the most disorganised runners this morning went to Fat(ter) Boys who (despite repeated warnings in the briefing) came ashore without their tracker, and without their Tilman Cup mountain cards which the marshals needed to mark. They had to call the boat back to the pier for the tracker and never did find the mountain cards.
Conditions on Snowdon this morning are chilly (around 3C right now) with light rain and moderate winds, which won’t trouble the runners – and could be a lot worse!
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