The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

Close into Caernarfon

Rob Howard / 28.06.2008See All Event Posts Follow Event
It was a fast sail to Caernarfon and the competition was intense, with the top 4 boats arriving within 9 minutes of each other.

A small crowd waited on the jetty by the newly built flats at Victoria Dock and there was much discussion as to who was coming in first – and it was Hero leading the way, arriving at 23.54 to win the first stage of the race. Their runners jumped ashore and had a 5 minute time-out for their kit check, and just as they left to begin the Snowdon run, estimating they would take 4 hours, White Cloud arrived. They were closely followed by Killary and JourneyMaker at two and three minutes past midnight, and EADS Innovation Works were 5th to arrive at 00.14.

As each boat emerged from the darkness they pulled alongside the pier and the runners made the tricky jump ashore or climbed onto the jetty ladders to applause from the crowd. They face a difficult night on the mountain as the cloud base is very low and the winds on the summit will be high. After a dry day it also began to rain soon after midnight, so it’s likely to be wet on the top. All the runners were warned there is a new trig point on the summit and told where to find the timing box to check in when they got there.

There were brief conversations between shore crews and teams as they dropped the runners off. Louise Makin from JourneyMaker called out, “it was lumpy and wet!� and White Cloud said they’d been leading into the Menai Strait, but Hero was faster at motoring in. Geoff West from EADS explained how he’d split his heavy weather spinnaker after rounding Bardsey Head. “The halyard came off and it fell ... then we ran over it!� He added optimistically, “but you may see it again yet during this race!�

After he came ashore Martin Beale explained why one of the race favourites was slightly off the pace. “We were slow off the start,� he said, “because we never had the sails up! We were not organised at all, then we split the spinnaker so it was not the best of sails!� At least he’d made it back from his relay race on the Cotswold Way in time to begin the race, and their final crew mate, Ken Fitzpatrick, was waiting to join the boat at Caernarfon, so the full team are now together.

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