The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

In the Yacht Club

Rob Howard / 28.06.2008See All Event Posts Follow Event
With all the yachts safely arrived (and almost all the competitors) the Merioneth Yacht Club, headquarters to the race, was the place to be for a sociable Friday night. The tiny kitchen somehow turned out 120 hearty meals and the bar upstairs was very busy hosting what was jokingly referred to as this year’s version of the ‘PowerBar nutritional briefing’.

Last year the sponsors hosted this in the Leisure Centre, complete with a technical slide show on sports nutrition – but this year they understand the race better – and paid for a free bar! Phillip Annett had travelled over from PowerBar HQ in Geneva and chatted to all the teams before making a short speech and digging deeper to fund the bar opening for longer. What a great sponsor! (Teams will get their PowerBars tomorrow too of course.)

Around the walls of the club teams could see some momentos of the great history of this race, pictures of past races and winners, and the eagle eyed may have spotted W.H. Tilman listed as a past president on the wall. The exploits of this great mountain and sailing explorer, who lived a little further up the estuary when not on expeditions, were the inspiration for the race and he gave out the prizes at the first race in 1977.

Over their beers a few of the teams will have had the chance to speak one of the men who thought up the race tonight. Dr. Rob Haworth was Tilman’s physician and had the inspired idea to link the highest peaks in Wales, England and Scotland with a yachting race … and 31 years later the idea is still popular and the concept has been copied all over the world. (There have been similar races in Norway, Tasmania, Hong Kong and several in the British Isles.)

Along with the teams were many of the support crews. Not all entries have a support crew, but some take advantage of a land based team helping to transport bikes to and from Whitehaven, who are also allowed to provide drinks and food to racers on their runs. With family on two entries and a strong support crew the Ricketts family from the Topsham Sailing Club are back for the race again – it seems to be something an annual family outing! Neal Ricketts is skipper on RBS Adventure Quest and is in his 7th consecutive race, while his father and brother are on Kithross II, the yacht’s 4th attempt at the race, with other family members are in support.

Another family team is ‘Jury’s Out’, a team skippered by 71 year young Gareth Davies who has brought his Contessa 32 ‘Kalamari’ to the race with daughter Sally and her husband Martin as crew. They had a slight mishap today when the boom fell off (the split pin is now in place), but otherwise are in good shape and looking forward to the challenge of the race.

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