The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

Busy in Barmouth

Rob Howard / 24.06.2011See All Event Posts Follow Event
The Hereford Triathlon Club team
The Hereford Triathlon Club team
It was a busiest day of the year in Barmouth harbour as 32 boats found moorings at the estuary mouth, ahead of tomorrow’s start of the PowerBar 3 Peaks Yacht Race. Some had been there many days and others arrived just ahead of the race deadline, which is that they should be in the harbour 24 hours ahead of the start time, set of 16.00 tomorrow. There was a bit of confusion as to who was where, but in the end all the boats were reported in on time.

The race HQ in the Merioneth Yacht Club was bursting at the seams as this is the biggest race ever. In the past there has been a 25 boat limit, but new moorings sponsored by Boat Fenders
Direct have allowed more boats to be accommodated. (And fortunately a fishing boat which sank in the harbour recently is in deep water and was not causing any obstruction.) Teams had to register, sign their ‘blood chit’ (that’s the disclaimer, though I’m not sure any of them would pass a test for being of Sond mind), collect stickers and instructions etc. The yachts all had to be scrutineered and the runners pass a kit check.

All the yachts also had to have their Yellowbrick race tracker fixed in place on deck. The race has used these satellite trackers for years and this time have the newest trackers (version 3). These are much lighter (just 300 gms) but unfortunately they will stay on board the boats and not be carried by the runners when they are on the mountains.

During all this hubbub and activity there were of course some late, late arrivals, some teams meeting up for the first time, and a few last minute crises. The Hereford Triathlon Club team found their engine starter motor was burnt out (it was described as a moulten blob), and there was a frantic request sent to nearby Pwllheli to try and find a replacement. The team feared they were out of the race before the start, but local marine engineer Colin Stebbings managed to build a replacement from parts, much to the relief of the grateful team.

Many of the experienced race crews know each other, and some of the yachts have raced many times under different names, but it’s fair to say the Irish boat, Danu Technologies, was the newcomer which was most discussed. The racing lines of the light Ker 35 caught the eye and the team will be competitive with the front runners, but they have no experience of the unique 3 Peaks race conditions and challenges, and neither of the runners have any sailing experience.

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