The Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

Close at Caernarfon

Rob Howard / 17.06.2006See All Event Posts Follow Event
Either side of midnight yachts were arriving at Caernarfon every few minutes, and it looks like this will be the most closely contested race for years.

Conditions on the stage were very mixed. There were periods of calm when the oars were used and towards the end of the stage strong, gusting winds and testing conditions as the boats crossed Caernarfon Bar and entered the Menai Strait.

Rounding Bardsey Head the skippers with 3 peaks race experience knew the best tactic was to take a line very, very close inshore where there is deep water up against the cliffs. Strong nerves are needed, but taking this course it’s easier to make headway against the tide and find more wind.

The lead group, including Kidscape Challenger, Vlad the Impaler and Abbeydale Moonshine took this line, but others behind them took a line further out as they passed through the channel between Bardsey Head and Bardsey Island.

The tide turns strongly here, and where it does the wind drops. Yachts which were making good progress almost came to a halt in the suddenly turbulent waters. Tactix (Spirit of 3 Peaks) was passed here by Redcoat who were quicker to raise their bright red army spinnaker. Tactix then spent some time going round in circles.

Bill Ricketts is one of the most experienced competitors and on Kithross II he took the inshore racing line and quickly raised his spinnaker. He passed Flapjack and several others by doing so.

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