The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

They’re Off!

Rob Howard / 28.06.2008See All Event Posts Follow Event
It was a near perfect start for the 31st PowerBar 3 Peaks Yacht Race. With the wind swinging round towards the West at a steady force 5 all the teams crossed the line without incident and are now on their way to round Bardsey Head and turn for the first port of call, Caernarfon.

Lead out by the Barmouth Lifeboat and a smaller than usual flotilla of spectator boats as a result of the rough conditions, all of the competing boats left their moorings for the motor out to the start line a mile off-shore. Last to leave was EADS Innovation Works and apparently they were still calling to try and get a boat to run out some missing supplies right up to the point of departure. At this stage we don’t know for sure if Martin Beale had made it back from Bristol and was on board, but I’m told he was seen at the harbour side and it seems unlikely they would have set off without him!

It was a rough crossing of the bar outside the harbour but conditions had moderated a little from earlier in the day and as the boats manoeuvred for position off the start line the wind was rising a little and swinging round to the West. Whisky Galore made a late run to get back behind the start line, while all the others were behind it or sailing along the line.

After Peter Phillips had fired the gun for the start at 16.00, White Clouds and Nunatak, took the lead, with a chasing group close behind. Off the back were Sanoodi, Caol Ila and Jury’s Out.
It’s always rough passing around Bardsey Head, where the leaders stay as close inshore as possible, often right up against the cliffs, and in these conditions is predicted to be particularly difficult. The record time for the sail to Caernarfon is 6 hours 52 minutes, but that has stood since 1991 and was set by a Sadler 45 and is unlikely to be matched today. o, the leaders are expected in the early hours of the morning.

EADS Innovation Works were hoping to get their runners down from Snowdon and set off to catch the tide through the Menai Strait before 05.00, but whether they, or anyone else, can achieve remains to be seen.

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