The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

After the Calm ...

Rob Howard / 25.06.2007See All Event Posts Follow Event
After the calm comes the storm.

By dawn on Monday the cold northerly wind had risen and was making life difficult for the runners off Vlad the Impaler, who were the first to ascend Scafell Pike, and for all the rest of fleet who were still making their way to Whitehaven.

Overnight the conditions had changed completely. Yesterdays calm had stranded the yachts for many hours, but now they were dealing with force 6 winds and rough seas, with a forecast of worse to come later today.

RBS Road Runner were second to arrive, a fantastic sail as there are several much faster boats in the race. “We kept inshore to try and stay out of the worst weather,� said Neal Ricketts. He confirmed they’d passed Lightning Reflex and White Cloud stuck on a sand bank near Beaumaris (the exit to the Menai Strait). “We saw the Reflex go aground … then White Cloud followed them! Nunatak saw what was happening and they were quick to change course. Lighting Reflex tried to row off then raised a spinnaker, but it drove onto the bank even more and my guess was they’d be there for a few hours.�

However, Road Runner hadn’t escaped the high winds lightly. Coming round the final headland they came out into bigger waves and were not knocked over, resulting in Steve James taking a bad fall in the cabin. He hit his shoulder badly and then became momentarily unconscious, at which point the crew called to shore to ask for an ambulance.

After a worrying wait they came into the harbour and he was taken to the local hospital to be checked over. Fortunately, nothing was broken and although he was badly bruised he was given the go-ahead to continue, and set off for Scafell Pike. That he wasn’t badly hurt was a relief to all, especially Neal Ricketts who was the candidate for replacement ‘runner’! (He has played the role of reserve runner before, taking 16 hours on Scafell Pike last year, and climbing Ben Nevis the year before, after which he said he could not walk for 3 days!)

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