The Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)
  • Off-Road Running

The Leaders at Whitehaven

Rob Howard / 16.06.2013See All Event Posts Follow Event
Tom Hill checks Dido into the Marina
Tom Hill checks Dido into the Marina / © Rob Howard

The race leaders arrived in Whitehaven late on a sunny Sunday afternoon, with Dido coming in just ahead of Nunatak and both boats arriving at high water and able to come straight into the marina through the tidal lock gate.  The wind had been dropping all afternoon and those chasing them are now only making one or two knots as they struggle to get to Whitehaven, while the two leading boats are have their runners on the Scafell Pike leg.

Richard and Charles Hill off Dido went through the 5 minute briefing and kit check before setting off on their bikes along the marina front, heading for the checkpoint in Ennerdale where they will leave their bikes and set off on foot over Black Sail pass into Wasdale. From there they climb to the summit of Scafell Pike before reversing the route back.  Conditions currently are good and the two leading teams should get to the summit in daylight.  Once the leaders get a tide ahead they always seem to get the breaks!

I spoke to Dido skipper Tom Hill who told me about their race so far. “As we are a fast boat downwind it’s been ideal for us,” he said. “We had an exciting time around Bardsey where we were moving at over 18 knots and going across Caernarfon Bar was quite frightening. We had 30 knots of wind, it was dark, with high surf and unlit buoys – we just had to get it right!”

Speaking about his passage of the The Swellies in the dark he was quite matter of fact. “The route through is well known and if you know where you are and have the boat under control it shouldn’t be a problem.”  Then he added, “Even so it was quite an experience to go through there for the first time in those conditions!”

“Luckily we got through before the tide turned, which gave us an advantage, but we don’t think we can get out of the lock to leave here until 01.30 so this run is quite tactical and our runners are going to take it easy and save some energy for Ben Nevis in case the race is decided there.”

That is a tactic which won’t favour the runners results, but will help the teams overall performance, which has been faultless so far ... but there is still a long way to go.

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