The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

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The Final Countdown

Rob Howard / 19.06.2010See All Event Posts Follow Event
The Skippers
The Skippers
The runners have passed through their final scrutineering checks and the final race briefings have taken place. Now the teams are finishing off any last minute shopping and making their way out to the yachts ahead of the start. At 15.00 the Barmouth lifeboat will lead the procession of yachts out of the harbour, ready for the 16.00 start a mile offshore.

The first task this morning was the runners check in a boathouse close to the yacht club. Each pair of runners have mandatory equipment which they must carry, including sleeping bags, thermal blankets, compass, spare food etc. In short everything they may need to survive if they were immobilised on a mountainside, which has happened in the past. There were the inevitable debates about what constitutes a sleeping bag (a cotton line won’t do) or whether and LED torch needs a spare bulb ?

In the end the pack weights varied considerably and everyone left with a much bigger load than they arrived with as there were piles of PowerBar gels, bars and supplements which teams could help themselves to. And they did!

Next came the team briefings, with all the necessary race procedures explained, rules confirmed and safety advice given out. The coastguard spoke briefly and gave out the weather forecast ... and it is looking like it might be a very slow race in the next few days, with light northerlies dropping away to even lighter northerlies. Race Director Meic Ellis welcomed the visiting teams from Israel and Australia (whose flags are now flying on the promenade), and on a more sombre note mentioned the race would be presenting a wreath of condolence in Whitehaven after the recent tragic shootings there.

The support crew briefing followed with advice on where to see the teams and some warnings on keeping quiet when welcoming teams in the middle of the night so as not to disturb local residents. Some directions were given and one described a street with ‘sleeping policemen’ ... which got a strange look from the Israeli team! After that it was time to say goodbyes and take the harbour ferries back to the yachts to get ready for the race start.

For the supporters and visitors the weather could not be better, with brilliant sunshine and a light breeze blowing the race flags and pennants. The youth section from the sailing club are out selling programmes and the coastguard and the local radio club have stalls which are attracting many visitors . The radio team will be travelling up to the Lake District to solve the tricky problem of communications between Ennerdale and Whitehaven.

Now everything is set, the race is ready to go, now it just needs a fair wind to set the teams on their way!

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