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Storms in the Scottish Islands

Damon Rodwell / 21.05.2007
[This years Scottish Islands Peak race, which takes teams of runners and sailors to Mull, Jura and Arran, was cut short due to exceptionally bad weather. Damon Rodwell was one of the competitors who stuck it out and made the run on Mull before the race was called off and this is his story of the race.]

Thursday’s unpleasant weather had turned pretty wild through the night, and at the Friday-morning briefing we were told that the race was to be cut short to avoid the dangerous sail around the Mull of Kintyre, and would now finish at the end of the Jura leg. It was generally received as a wise decision, but there were still one or two disappointed faces around and several boats decided not to start.

I ran the opening stage around Oban as fast as I could, which was not very fast at all, trailing well behind my team mate Crispin all the way, until he waited for me for the final run-in along the road. My performance was limited by my sludge-filled lungs and lack of energy, and we clocked about 2 - 3 minutes slower than last year. Crispin was looking ominously strong …

The sail to Mull was a real white-knuckle ride. The guys pushed the boat possibly slightly harder than they should have in such big seas, and at one point we very, very nearly capsized. Apparently, this ain't easy in a Trimaran!

Onto Ben More

After only 2 hours we arrived on Mull with a lead of about 10 seconds over Phil Davies and his partner off Memec. I was feeling really rough, and the other four just ran away from us. Crispin must have been very frustrated, but kept it under his hat, bless him. He stopped and waited for me to catch up after 12 minutes, and immediately he saw the state I was in he asked if I wanted to chuck it? How could I possibly pull the plug after 12 minutes, when the guys had sailed out of their skins to get us there so fast?

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