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A Win For Barmouth

Rob / 25.06.2003See All Event Posts Follow Event
Spirit of Barmouth finish
Spirit of Barmouth finish
When Andy Sanderson and Tony Hodgson came down from Ben Nevis and raced over the finish line of the 2003 Magellan 3 Peaks Yacht Race in brilliant sunshine at 20.03 on Wednesday evening they completed an impressive win for ‘Spirit of Barmouth’. With no other yachts close to the finish and in a race where they had to row for many hours their winning time was 4 days 4 hours and 38 minutes.

The Reflex 38 carried the name of the town where the race starts and is organised from, so this is a popular win. Two of the crew, Ian Hudson and Dave Bird are on the race committee and this was a second victory for both of them. “We did this for Barmouth. We’ve won it for the town,� said Bird. The runners too are from Barmouth and an overjoyed Tony Hodgson just said, “I’m never doing it again but I’m chuffed! This is the first thing I’ve ever won.� He was beaming, gave everyone a kiss, then jumped into the lock basin with his running mate Andy Sanderson!

The pair had taken only 4 hours and 6 minutes on the run up and down Ben Nevis and according to Sanderson, who is also on the race committee, “were on a real high at the top�. He continued, “I still don’t really believe it, I was so nervous we’d twist an ankle and even said to Tony on the run back along the road to be careful we didn’t get run over! It will take a while to sink in.� It was his third attempt at the race and his first win. Hodgson only came into the race 3 weeks ago as a late replacement and had never done any sailing before.

Ian Hudson had skippered the same yacht to win in the race 2 years ago, again in very calm conditions, and it was his suggestion to take an alternative course, through the Sound of Islay, which helped secure their win. It’s a tactic that has never succeeded in the race before, but this time it worked spectacularly well as their nearest challenger the Dutch yacht Hellefix was left half a day behind.

This year the skipper was the yacht owner Geoff West, who lives in Cowes, and it was his 3rd win in the race. He managed to sail ‘Spirit of Barmouth’ into Fort William with no engine to drop off the two runners and was surprised at the team’s success. “I didn’t think I was going to win it this year.� He said. “The runners on Hellefix looked so good and their boat speed is the same as ours so I wondered where we could beat them.�

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