‘Welcome Home Mary J’ – Don’t Look Down Reach The Finish
The 42nd Three Peaks Yacht Race came to a close for this year when runners Roddy Sandeman and Texa Sim from the Catamaran Don’t Look Down crossed the finish line at Corpach at 11.19am today.
The boat had arrived late last night and had a difficult time coming alongside as the pontoon was already taken and with no other options they eventually had to come alongside the boat there. By this time only boat owner Andrew Sim and Kenneth Robertson were aboard with the runners as the skipper Alan Parker had ‘jumped ship’ at Crinnan, needing to move on to other commitments.
Sim said, “We know it’s a slow boat of course, with a very small rig and but we didn’t expect to be competitive, but we were just here to take part in this great race and get to the finish.”
Kenneth Robertson added, “We had some excitement in Caernarfon when the wind blew up and took us off our anchor. We had the runners aboard and were waiting for the tide but heading off at speed down the Menai Strait backwards wasn’t ideal!
“We stopped at Gigha for fuel, but the only supplier on the island had sold it all to a fish farm! Fortunately a kind islander had some in a jerry can they offered us. We stopped at Crinnan too, where Dave got off, and were struggling with little or now wind a lot on the third stage. The final days sailing has been the best, with no rain and fantastic scenery. We could have done with less rain on this race!”
Having spoken to the marshals earlier they were not setting their runners ashore to run during the night, but going to wait until 6am to set off on the final stage.
Cloud and showers still swirled around the summit of ‘The Ben’ when they set off, but the weather was better than in the past few days, and the two runners even had some company from Inverlochy to the foot the mountain. They knew someone in Inverlochy, stopped to say hello, and their friend joined them for their morning run!
When they got back to the finish they had a special welcome back from their team and family. Texa Sim, one of only two female runners this year, was racing with her father, and mum Cara has been support crew for the team. She is a harpist and was playing a small harp as the two runners crossed the finish line, having written a composition called, ‘Welcome Home Mary J’ especially for the occasion.
Sim was limping and tearful on the finish line having had a tough time on the hills. Her running partner said, “Texa has had some blisters and strains and found it really hard, pretty much all through the Scafell Pike run and this one. She has toughed it out to get across the line.”
He added, “Ben Nevis was probably the easiest of the runs funnily enough, and Scafell Pike definitely the hardest. It comes so soon after Snowdon and you have the cycling and so much climbing as you are doing two peaks almost by going over Black Sail Pass.”
As they were in The Challenge category after using their engine there were no finish medals for the team, but the their supporters had their own ready for them and the team sat down on a bench near the finish for some photos and to enjoy their finish. There were special T-shirts prepared by Cara Sim for them all too, so it was an emotional and happy finish for the last team over the line this year!