The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

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Some Surprised Winners ... and a Serial Winner

Rob Howard / 23.06.2010See All Event Posts Follow Event
Race Winners EADS Innovation Works
Race Winners EADS Innovation Works
As the leaders sailed up the Firth of Lorn towards the Corran Narrows and the finish they were in an unfamiliar situation ... the wind was blowing, the tide was with them and the oars were resting unused on deck. After the previous 36 hours this must have come as something of a shock!

When EADS Innovation Works rounded the Mull of Galloway Piers Cobham had commented to the team, “It’s only a 33 hour row from here to Fort William.� And it very nearly was. “We knew when we had to get to the Sound of Luing to get through on the tide,� said Cobham, “and it didn’t take much calculation to figure out we’d have to row most of the way. I think we rowed more hours than not, and it seemed like there were only very short bursts of sailing. Still, rowing is one thing I can do.� (He used to row for Cambridge and at national level ... a very handy skill in this race.)

And so EADS kept ahead of their chasers. Cobham recalled Torbellino coming alongside but they hit a wind pocket and he said, “We just rowed away from them. We could 3 knots rowing at times.� They squeezed through the Sound of Luing with Team Whistler and Topsham Sea Fever following, and The Dockers coming to join them having sailed around the Isle of Jura. And still they rowed and somehow stayed ahead. As the wind at last picked up their pursuers were closing but EADS landed at the Caledonian Canal basin at Corpach first at 13.42, and they knew their experienced runners were fast enough to win the race from there.

Just 8 minutes later Team Whistler let their runners off, with Topsham Sea Fever three minutes later and The Dockers 19 minutes behind them. The race was on with four pairs of runners on Ben Nevis to decide the final race positions. Martin Beale and Martin Indge on EADS had been in this position before and now they held the lead and knew they were running to win ‘The King of the Mountains’ title, having already been fastest on the two previous peaks.

There were no mistakes and mishaps, and they were back to finish the race at 17.02 and claim the win for their team. In a way it was no surprise as Geoff West and Gary Clayton are serial race and trophy winners, and Martin Beale is getting into the habit too. The surprise was they’d won in a 21 year old yacht, which last won the race in 1999 but it was clear they were a very strong team and despite the rowing had really enjoyed the race. “It was fun,� said Beale.

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