The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

A Record Entry and International Competition at the 34th PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

Rob Howard / 14.06.2011See All Event Posts Follow Event
The Barmouth to Fort William PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race combines yachting, mountain running and cycling into one of the greatest adventure challenges in British sport. Teams consist of three sailors and two runners, who set sail from Barmouth on the Welsh coast to Fort William in Scotland, via Caernarfon and Whitehaven, racing to the summits of Snowdon (3560ft) Scafell Pike (3208ft) and Ben Nevis (4408ft) on the way.

The race now in its 34th year, consists of 389 miles of difficult coastal sailing, 18 miles of cycling and 72 miles of running, with a total ascent of 14,000ft to the highest points in Wales, England and Scotland.

The first event in June 1977 featured just seven yachts, with only four returning to complete the course; and this year a record 32 teams are expected to participate. Over the years a total of 500 teams have competed in the event, amongst them some famous faces including renowned sailors Robin Knox Johnston, Bob Fisher, Skip Novak, and the legendary fell runner Joss Naylor.

A number of celebrated athletes have also raced together as pairs including Davies and Woods, who set the Snowdon ascent record of 3 hours and 6 minutes as far back as 1983. (That is for 24 miles including the crossing of Snowdon!). Just as remarkable was the run by Andrew Belton and Mark Rigby, who in the struggle to get their yacht in and out of Ravenglass on the same tide ran the 32 mile Scafell Pike route in a phenomenal 4 hours 30 minutes.

The race has an international reputation and the sailing/mountain running idea has been copied in various locations around the world. This year Team Whistler, previous winners of the Tasmanian 3 Peaks Yacht Race are travelling across the world to compete in the original event, and they are joined by two other international teams, from Ireland (Team Danu Technologies) and from Belgium (Team Flemish Lowlanders).

The Australian team raced last year too, arriving in Fort William in second place by just 8 minutes, but after the Ben Nevis they run finished third. At the time skipper David Rees commented on the differences between the two races. “There is the tide for a start. We have nothing like your tides. And the sea lock at Whitehaven ... we don’t have any locks!� (The team were still smarting from reaching Whitehaven first and having to wait to go in through the lock while watching others get in ahead of them.)

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