The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

Caernarfon Rush Hour

Rob Howard / 25.06.2011See All Event Posts Follow Event
It was a busy early morning for the marshals at Caernarfon, with the leading yachts making rapid progress and the top 5 arriving before midnight, all with passage times of under 8 hours. This year there were no concerns about the water level for getting across Caernarfon Bar at the entrance to the Menai Strait, as there is now an open channel at all states of the tide. This means there is one less hazard for the competitors, and the deeper keeled boats leading the race knew they would not be held up waiting on the tide to make it into Caernarfon.

Team Whistler lead the way, setting their runners ashore on the pier with a 28 minute lead, over Predator. The White Clouds, Madam Wen and Firefly all came in with 8 minutes of each other. In the coming few hours it was a common occurrence to have a queue of boats waiting to get onto the pier as a string of green mast lights appeared out of the darkness and the hulls gradually came into view.

It can be a tricky manoeuvre getting the runners ashore as the tide is strong and the runners have to clamber up onto a metal walkway under the pier. Its dark, the footing is wet and slippery and the runners have no life jackets on, so it’s a place to take care and all the teams are warned not to rush and to sensible, which they were. Some skippers managed the tide well and others struggled. Testa Rossa got one runner ashore and had a further 4 attempts before his partner could join him, while ‘4 Pies and a Pasty’ seemed to be making numerous attempts and never coming close, but it turned out they were just waiting for Donnie Macleod to wake up and get organised. Though to be fair he said they did not wake him in time!

Not surprisingly there were many reports of ‘lumpy’ weather and seasickness, and numerous runners were glad to be ashore, but not exactly at their best for a 24 mile run across Snowdon. After 8 or 9 hours on a rough sea, they were arriving in the early hours of the morning and packing their rucksacks to set off in the dark. At least it was warm (at sea level anyway) and not raining, but there may still below cloud on Snowdon and it will be much colder at 3000 feet.

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