The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

Final Preparations

Rob Howard / 28.06.2008See All Event Posts Follow Event
It was a leisurely start on a blustery but dry Saturday morning for the 3 Peaks Yacht Race competitors. With the race start not due until 16.00, and the boats leaving the harbour at 15.00 in procession behind the lifeboat, there was plenty of time. It was only the lure of bacon sandwiches which brought the teams ashore and into the yacht club ahead of the 11.00 briefing by Race Director Meic Ellis.

One of the skippers attending was glad he was still in the race and not embarrassingly stranded on a sand bar just off the harbour wall. Last night RBS Adventure Quest skippered by Neal Ricketts made a misjudgement and ended up being pulled off by the two harbour ferries and by Kithross II – which is owned by Neal’s father and on which his brother is racing. They got off alright, perilously close to high tide, but no doubt there was a fair amount of family ribbing going on last night!

As always a few skippers were making enquiries for expected parcels (last minute parts) in the race office and a few teams were late with the paperwork – handing in their ‘blood chits’ and putting photos on their mountain log cards. Around the corner from the yacht club the runners were having their kit checked, and most were trying to carry as light a pack as possible – Richard Ludlow off Nunatak thought his weighed 8lbs. His pencil and paper were as tiny as could be and everything was was lightweight as he could get away with.

Greg Marsh from Journeymaker was checking in his running kit too. He was last year’s winning skipper and is back as a runner this time saying, “I realised the runners have it easy! All they do is eat and stay in their sleeping bags for most of the race!� He had a smile on his face but must feel confident to make such a statement at the start of the race ...

At the briefing, advice and final instructions were given by Meic Ellis, and the Coast Guard also spoke and read out the forecast which is South-Westerly 5-6 with a moderate to rough sea. (He also advised on the industrial action the Coast Guard are taking.) However, the crew on the start boat which has just come into harbour say that locally it is more like a 6-7 westerly and is a very rough sea with short waves.

They’ve warned it could be a rough start and crews have also been advised the start buoys either end of the line may have moved.
Crews have now been issued with their SAT Trackers, and the harbour ferries are busy getting all the teams on board in preparation for the start. Caol Ila are tied up alongside the harbour wall so don’t need the ferries, and all dressed in their kilts were taking a dram together on deck before the start – well their boat does have the same name as an Islay distillery, and they will sail close by it later in the week.

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