The Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)
  • Off-Road Running
  • Off-Road Cycling

Dawn Arrival in Caernarfon

19.06.2005See All Event Posts Follow Event
The runners from Abbeydale Moonshine
The runners from Abbeydale Moonshine
As expected the leaders arrived on the quayside at Caernarfon soon after first light on Sunday, and the race leader was Vlad the Impaler.

For the waiting marshals and support crews the first sight of sail is in the narrow entrance to the Menai Strait and the sky was still tinted with dawn colours when Vlad the Impaler came in sight. Once past a marker buoy the yachts are allowed to motor in (for safety reasons), and it can be tricky to pull alongside in the tide, though Skipper Greg Marsh had not difficulty. Keith Read and Rob Smith were on deck, numbers pinned on and ready to go, and jumped onto the slippery steps of the pier. Once ashore they had 5 minutes for a kit check before running off through the town towards Snowdon.

Read and Smith both race with the Adventure Racing team Kimmlite/High 5, and are seasoned endurance racers, so they estimated their time at 4 and a half hours for the 26 mile run. If they do that time they will arrive back while the fierce tide of the Menai Strait is still against them, so the chasing teams may catch them up again.

That has already happened once to the team, who lead until they came to round Bardsey Head, but were held there for 90 minutes as the fleet came up behind them. Nevertheless, they were happy to be in the lead and had enjoyed the sail. “If Rob was in his bunk and didn’t hear anyone adjusting the spinnaker for 10 minutes his head torch popped up and he was on deck,� said Marsh. In the calm conditions the runners were well rested and they will want a good time, though as entrants in the Tilman Trophy they won’t count for the overall ‘King of the Mountains’ competition.

The support crew shouted to Marsh, “Anything you need?� and he replied, “another hours lead on this team!� He could see Abbeydale Moonshine motoring in and they landed just 20 minutes behind them. The tattered remnants of a spinnaker hung from the top of the mast, but they quickly pulled off to anchor so there was no explanation of what had happened. Their runners, Matt Ford and Phil Eaves, set off in pursuit of Vlad’s runners.

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