The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

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To the Summit of Scafell Pike

Rob Howard / 21.06.2010See All Event Posts Follow Event
In the early hours of the morning the leading boats realised they were not going to make it to Whitehaven with enough tide to pass through the outer harbour and the sea lock gate, so it wasn’t until 3.36am that the first runners checked in. They were Martin Beale and Martin Indge from EADS Innovation Works which had the shallowest depth of the 7 yachts waiting, a distinct advantage at Whitehaven. The runners are also among the fastest in the race and they set off knowing a good time might just get them out of Whitehaven a tide ahead of their rivals, helped of course by their shallow depth.

Half and hour later Kishinoor came in with the Dockers, then within the next 20 minutes Torbellino, Moby J, GFT Adventure and finally Team Whistler all came in, setting their runners on their way at dawn. Whistler had now lost their lead, and as they set off they also lost their way. Finding the start of the cycle way in town is not easy and Michael McIntyre was a bit confused by the instruction from their support crew, resulting in an unnecessary 20 minute detour. “I was cursing myself,� he said, “worrying we’d miss a tide as a result of the mistake.� The Australian pair were at a disadvantage on an unfamiliar route with unfamiliar maps and said they had to stop a little more often than others to check their way.

After riding out to Ennerdale and leaving the bikes the pair set off on foot over Black Sail Pass and McIntyre was not impressed with local knowledge when he asked the way. “We reached Black Sail Youth Hostel and I asked 3 people to double check the way but they had no idea what I was talking about!� They had more luck on Scafell Pike, where hundreds of people were taking part in a fire service 3 Peaks walk, so it was easy enough to follow them to the summit, which was covered in cloud when they got there.

McIntyre commented, “The cairns were quite far apart but we found our way OK and even stopped to take a few pictures to show people what it is like when the cloud is down. WE took quite a few pictures along the way. I’m not going to look at a view and not take a photo.... we don’t get this way very often!�

At the foot of Scafell Pike they crossed the EADS runners who were on their way back to the checkpoint at Wasdale Head. This is in place to ensure the runners safety on the mountain and the EADS pair had told the marshals to expect them back in 1 hour 50 minutes. They got back in 1.51 and were quickly on their way again over Black Sail Pass and back into Ennerdale.

The marshal team at Wasdale have a small apartment right by the path, so it a far cosier billet then the marshals get in Ennerdale, but they do have their problems with communication. “The phone in the flat has been taken out and there is no internet or mobile signal here, so we have to ring in every now and again on the pay phone. We had a restless night not knowing if anyone would be coming in and listening for the pay phone to ring so we could rush out in our pyjamas and answer it.�

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