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Hellefix wins the Tilman Trophy

Rob / 26.06.2003See All Event Posts Follow Event
Hellefix win the Tilman Trophy
Hellefix win the Tilman Trophy
Rob Barel completed all 3 peaks with 3 different partners when he came down off Ben Nevis to be greeted by the crew of Hellefix. The Dutch yacht, which had arrived at 07.44 in the morning took second place overall in 4 days 21 hours and 24 minutes and won the prestigious Tilman Trophy by putting 4 of their team onto a summit. It was an impressive performance by a visiting international crew with no experience of the race, and a patient one!

Asked if the race had lived up to expectations skipper Jack Kamminga said, “It was a great adventure but I expected more wind and didn’t expect it to be a rowing race! I knew we needed the oars for getting through the Swellies in the Menai Strait so in Whitehaven I got rid of them. That was a mistake! We even had to use our dinghy oars to paddle to get us past the last marker buoy so we could switch on our engine and motor into the finish!�

Recalling their problems in the Sound of Jura Bart Schweitzer said, “It was terrible. For almost a day we didn’t go anywhere. We were watching the water for patches of wind but there was never any where we were!� Rob Barel is an Olympic triathlete and had the satisfaction of getting to all the tops, helping his team mates through. This time he was with Lucas United and Barel said, “He did really well as his eyesight is very poor and it was hard for him to see where to place his feet on the rocky path.� Even so the pair took exactly 5 hours for the climb from sea level to Britain’s highest point and back down again, a total of 17 miles and 4406 feet of climbing.

Looking back on the race Barel said; “We’ve seen so much of the British climate and scenery on this race, and there was plenty of time to watch the dolphins in the Sound of Jura! We’re really happy with our result as we came to try and win the Tilman Trophy.�

Coming from a country with no mountains on which to train (they ran up and down the steps on bridges) and where the coastal sailing is nothing like the complex tidal systems of the British west coast it was a great result for Hellefix. When they crossed the line at 12.49 on Thursday all of the crew of Spirit of Barmouth, who they’d had a close competition with for the first half of the race, were there to cheer them over the line.

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