The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

Racing for the Start

Rob Howard / 20.06.2009See All Event Posts Follow Event
The race briefing in the Yacht Club bar
The race briefing in the Yacht Club bar
With an evening start the atmosphere in Barmouth is a little less rushed than usual, but there are one team who are definitely up against it before the start, and that’s RAF Leuchars.

They are still on their way here and at present it seems likely they will arrive on the tide the rest of the race is leaving on! The team leader is here and was in the briefing, and when the roll call was made he said, “Here! ... But the boat isn’t!�

They are still on their way from Holyhead, and a distant sail has been sighted, but they can’t simply sail onto the start line! For a start they have to change crews, and they need to go through all the race formalities before setting out, which will be done as quickly as possible.

If they are lucky they may just catch the start! The worse news is they are starting with at least a 12 hour penalty. The rules say entries have to be into Barmouth 24 hours before the start, and the penalty is 50% of the time they are late ...

For the rest of the competitors there is a full day of preparing and waiting and currently (13.40) it is low water, with the harbour dried out and the ferries not running, so there is very little to do. Most teams are shopping or carbo-loading in the pub! The weather is dull and overcast, with light drizzle falling, but the forecast is still not promising for the early stages of the race.

At the race briefing coast guard Derek Roberts read out the forecast of North to North-Westerlies 4 to 5 for the start but the wind is dropping and the prospects for the start of next week are for periods with no wind at all. Rowing may be an important factor this year!

The conditions could mean the leaders will not get to Caernarfon in time to get enough water to cross Caernarfon Bar into the Menai Strait. (Anyone who does could get a huge advantage of course.) If they don’t then the fleet may bunch up and arrive in Caernarfon together, and by the time the runners have returned from Snowdon they will have missed the tide in the Strait. It could be a very slow start! Some teams may even decide to go all the way around Anglesey rather than through the Menai Striat. (Ezra are one team who might take this option. They don’t want to risk having to start their engine to avoid rocks in the strait, which would disqualify them.)

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