Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

12 to One – The Odds Are Anyone Can Win

Rob Howard / 13.06.2012See All Event Posts Follow Event
The start off Barmouth
The start off Barmouth

Regular competitors in the 3 Peaks Yacht Race know they can take nothing for granted. It’s an event where anything can happen, and it often does!  There is no predicting the weather and some yachts will be favoured by light winds, others by heavy weather.  Any one of dozens of decisions can cost a team the race, and in the past race favourites have run aground in the Menai Strait and watched everyone else sail by, had their sails blown out or been dismasted.  Runners can be injured, or very seasick, or slow, or lost ... and bikes can break.

Yet, there are always race favourites, based on past performance in this race and in others.  It is a race where experience counts for a great deal and over the years there have been teams that have won regularly, and runners who have laid claim to the King of the Mountains title repeatedly.  Only this year, none of them have turned up – it’s the most open race for a long time, and could be one of the most competitive.

There are only 12 teams taking part this time.  There should have been 13, but the Belgian team who were the international entry have said they won’t be coming ... their boat is not even in the water!  So, it’s any one of a dozen, and with 3 times that number of trophies available there is a good chance everyone will win at least one piece of silverware!  The main prizes however are The Daily Telegraph Cup for the overall winners, the Tilman Trophy for the best all round performance, and the King of the Mountains title for the best pair of runners on the 3 summits.

There are teams and racers taking part who have won some of these before, and their experience will stand them in good stead. The skipper of ‘Stormwind’ (an Elan 431) is Henry Clay, who was on the winning mono-hull in 1994.  This heavy steel cruiser was a surprise winner in severe weather conditions and Clay is leading an experienced team.  In 1994 he was a runner too, but this time he is the only team member not listed as a runner as his team chase the Tilman Trophy.  All of the team have a good mix of sailing and mountain running experience and they will be a team to watch.

To win the Tilman Trophy they will have to beat last year’s winning boat, ’Sea Fever’, skippered by Patrick Bird, who has also completed 3 Scottish Islands Peaks Races, and the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc.  The Arcona 400 has shown it can be competitive and their runners experience includes a long list of endurance mountain and adventure races.

There are no previous winners of the King of the Mountains title taking part and the backgrounds of those who will race to the summits are varied.  They include walkers, iron man triathletes, mountaineers, marathon runners, adventurers and adventure racers – some with sailing experience and others venturing into the unknown clutching their sea-sickness tablets. 


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