Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

Slow Forward Motion

Rob Howard / 20.06.2012See All Event Posts Follow Event
Rowing to make progress
Rowing to make progress

All races are about making forward progess as fast as possible, but the most important thing is to make more progress than the competition, especially at the end of the race!  It is not speed that’s important, its speed relative to those you are racing against that matters.

This year’s race has been a case of slow motion racing, but it is no less intense for that.  A slow race in light winds requires more endurance, more concentration and more rowing too.  Even more seriously food may be running short!  Looking at the trackers presently it would appear Salty Peaknuts and Kithross II have paid a visit to Craighouse on Jura – and most likely in its hotel stocking up on food and drink.

The light winds have pushed one or two skippers into trying some varied tactics to gain an advantage.  The inshore route Kithross II took into Whitehaven didn’t work out, but today Thor was the only boat to give the Sound of Jura a miss and sailed through the Sound of Islay to go ‘outside Jura’ and it looks to have paid off.  The young navy team, who were aground off Anglesey for many hours and at the back of the race, have now moved into 7th position approaching the finish.  

Beach Fox too are having a strong final leg and as the pack of boats chasing the leaders moved towards the Corran Narrows they chose to go around the island of Lismore rather than through the inside passage as their competitors did.  Their competitive spirit is still as strong as ever as they rang up the Race Director to ask which boats were in the handicap competition! 

At this stage of the race there are all sorts of trophies to be won and lost, and it is a very close race.  The leaders are not leading by as comfortable a margin as they were leaving Whitehaven and as always the tides are making the race a stop-go affair, with gaps between the boats opening and closing, depending on where they are when they catch the tide.  At present the leading boats are trying to make progress in Loch Linnhe against a spring tide, and they have to get through the tides of the Corran Narrows to get into the Loch.  It’s a regular occurrence for teams to have to row up Loch Linnhe to the finish.

Bringing up the back of the field are the Brioche Boys, who have yet to get around the Mull of Kintyre, but they are still making progress and all the teams are still in the race, which is unusual at this stage.  Their supporters are watching the trackers as avidly as any of the other race followers and emailed the race asking why they were going backwards and if there was a problem?  That would have been the tide pushing them backwards, sometimes to make forward progress you even have to accept going backwards for a bit.

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