The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

Ezra - In The Spirit of Tilman

Rob Howard / 18.06.2009See All Event Posts Follow Event
One of the most striking entries this year is Ezra, a 60 foot replica Isles of Scilly Pilot Cutter, of the type sailed by Major HW Tilman, who was the inspiration for the race.

One of world’s pioneering mountaineers and explorers, Tilman turned to sailing adventures in his later years, sailing a pilot cutter to the remote corners of the world and climbing the peaks he found there. When not at sea or up a mountain he was a Barmouth resident and the race was inspired by his feats.

Tilman attended the first race and gave out the prizes, before his final voyage, when his boat Mischief and all crew were lost at sea. His endeavours have a cult following among adventurers and his spirit of adventure still drives many entries to the race, none more so than Ezra.

Skipper and owner Sam Brooke commissioned Ezra to establish a business offering sailing and mountaineering charters on the west coast of Scotland. He describes his team ‘Sail Ezra’ as inspired by “Endurance events, mountain ranges and exploring for science in faraway places … and, of course, a desire to be at sea in the traditional working boat, Ezra�

The team is made up of of husband & wife team Patrick & Virginia Bird, Will Lawrie, Ewa Najder and skipper Sam Brooke. Patrick from Hertfordshire is a geologist mostly looking at rocks in Africa; Virginia also from Hertfordshire is a retired teacher and now ‘CEO’ of the Bird family of Patrick and two teenage daughters; Will from London is a former infantry officer in the British Army and now a chartered surveyor; Ewa from Poland is a horticulturalist having been an international ski racer and Sam from the Isle of Skye used to be in the offshore diving industry and now his chartered sailing & mountaineering business on Ezra from Loch Harport.

The Three Peaks race start in Barmouth will mark the first occasion that the crew will have all met together and they say, “While Tilman might have raised an eyebrow at the thought of not only scientists but also women participating in ‘his’ race, he surely would have approved of their spirit and hopefully of the sailing vessel in which they put to sea. It is perhaps this spirit and the tradition of the Isles of Scilly pilot cutters, as honest and purposeful working boats, that best reflect Team SailEzra’s commitment to the 2009 Three Peaks Race.�

[Ezra are one of 19 entries for the Tilman Trophy (although this is likely to change when teams actually register). This trophy is seen as being as prestigious at The Daily Telegraph Cup which is given to the outright winners, and is for ‘all round’ performance. To be entered in the Tilman Trophy a team must put at least 3 of their number onto a summit and some teams leave it until they reach Corpach to decide who will go up Ben Nevis.]

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