The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

Ulula and the Dolphins

Rob Howard / 24.06.2009See All Event Posts Follow Event
The passage of the Sound of Jura is one of many trials teams have to cope with,as it is notorious for a lack of wind – but then that is nothing exceptional in this race!

Throughout yesterday and today teams have graduallymoved round the Mull of Galloway, passing the Isle of Gigha and moving northwards into the Sound of Jura. It was here that EADS Innovation Works took the lead. In the early part of the day they were sharing the lead with Nunatak, but on the passage of the Sound, which skipper Geoff West has made many times before, they somehow managed to pull out a big lead ... when we catch up with them we’ll ask them how they did it.

EADS made it through the tidal gate between the isles of Luing and Scarba, lengthening their lead, and unless they are held up by the tide at Corran Narrows and the chasers catch up, this could have been the decisive period of the race. (If you check Martin Beale’s blog he says they had to decide whether the two runners rowing was a good idea, and they decided it was the right tactic to win the race – but he added that they would pay for it on Ben Nevis! As they’d progressed up the Sound the team were looking for patches of disturbance on the calm water which indicated where there was some wind, then rowing towards it.)

Most of the teams have been rowing for extended periods and when I managed to get a boat out into the Sound of Jura this afternoon I first came across Journeymaker working at the oars. As we approached they decided they’d had enough and all 5 of the team laid back on deck for a breather.

“This has been a hard, hard race,� said Andrew Hayward. “We’ve done a lot of rowing and at times passed teams, only to hit a hole in the wind or foul tide, and then everyone bunches up again!� The team didn’t know who was ahead of them, or what their position was in the race, but they pointed out Ulula on their port side.

When we reached Ulula they were putting a more sustained effort into their rowing and echoed the comments from Journeymaker. Steve Jones said, “The wind did fill in during the morning. At one time we had 20 knots of wind and 2 reefs in the main. Then the wind dropped and we took one reef out, then it dropped again and we took out the second and in no time we were stationary. We’d gone from 6 knots to zero in a couple of minutes, it’s been that fickle.�

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