The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

Waiting

Rob Howard / 24.06.2007See All Event Posts Follow Event
Waiting for wind.

Waiting for boats.

The second day of the race has been a complete contrast to the first, which had plenty of wind and close competition on the first sailing and running legs. But since this morning, when the runners returned from Snowdon, and the yachts set off along the Menai Strait, there has been little wind and little progress.

On Sunday evening all of the support crews are gathered in Whitehaven and asking the same question; “When will they get here?� The answer is sometime tomorrow at the earliest. Occasional phone calls elicit information along the lines of; “there is no wind and we are gong nowhere�. The SAT Trackers show most of the fleet is still much nearer Caernrarfon than Whitehaven, having made little progress since leaving the Menai Strait.

This is the time the rumours begin and become ‘fact’, but it seems sure both Lightning Reflex and Beach Fox (now renamed Beached Fox) have been aground during the day, and another story is that Vlad the Impaler (most likely the race leader) was aground off the Isle of Man.

Vlad is in a slow motion race to reach Whitehaven in time to get through the sea lock into the harbour. This has low water outside it and a sill inside the lock, so when the yachts can get in depends on the tide and their keel depth. The leaders have the deeper keels (Vlads is 7’3�) and the lock keeper has said they will only get through before 11.45 and if they fail they must anchor off shore and wait until 04.30.

If Vlad, or any of the other leading yachts, makes it through they will secure a race winning lead. If they don’t the fleet will catch up to them.

And while the waiting goes on there is a chance for new friendships to be made among the support crews. One such was when race publicity officer Norma Stockford
met Mrs Tipper, part of the support crew for Confusion. Her son Will Stockford is aboard and is racing with brothers, Joe, Tom and Bill Tipper, and it was a chance for the supporting mums to meet up. Their sons are on the smallest yacht in the race, at only 8m the adjective most commonly applied is ‘Tiny’.

Like everyone else in Whitehaven they must wait to see which boats come into harbour in the morning, and if any can beat tonight’s low tide.

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