The Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)
  • Off-Road Running

Monday Morning in Whitehaven

Rob Howard / 17.06.2013See All Event Posts Follow Event
Young Guns set off to ride to Ennerdale
Young Guns set off to ride to Ennerdale / © Rob Howard

There was an early start to the Monday morning rush hour at the 3 Peaks Yacht Race, which has seen teams coming and going through Whitehaven. 

First in were the returning runners from the race leaders Dido who came back on their bikes at 00.39, but then had to wait until there was enough water in the lock gate to leave. They were in the lock when Nunatak’s runners came back just under an hour later and though they were very, very tired and had struggled with the last part of this stage their support crew hustled them on board so Nunatak could chase out through the lock after Dido.

There was a an intensity and tension in the marina and the crews and supports were asking whether they could pick up runners on the fuel pontoon, and if there were rules about overtaking or not while under motor to the buoy beyond the outer harbour. Dido wanted to keep their lead and in a competitive race it is frustrating to be trapped by a tidal lock, but it’s just one of many tactical and tidal factors in the race.

As Nunatak went out Moby J was coming in, the fourth boat to arrive.  (White Cloud had arrived at 20.34 the previous day.)  Their runners had set the fastest time of 4 hours on Snowdon, 11 minutes quicker than the White Cloud runners, and these two teams knew they were in a race for the King of the Mountains Trophy and that this long stage to Scafell Pike could be decisive.

The runners from White Cloud, Shane Ohly and Jim Mann, set a time of 6 hours 46 minutes, but Adam and Chris Perry from Moby J were quicker again, with a time of 6 hours 22 minutes, and both boats were able to set off straight away on the next tide, thanks to these quick times.  The time set by the Perry brothers is a new record, beating the 2009 time of 6 hours 28 minutes by Chris Sellens and Allen Smalls. And if they can now set a time better than 2.43 on Ben Nevis they can take the overall mountain time record, but that is asking a lot, and would take them close to the historic record time set in 1984.

Next to arrive were 1RTR who said they had rowed for 5 hours in the calm weather, and they too had set a fast time on Snowdon (4.18).  They are now in line for the new Colin Prescott Walker Trophy, for the team with the youngest aggregate age, which is given for the first time this year in honour of the past Race President.  The Young Guns team were set to win this (with an aggregate age of only 99), but overnight they motored part of the time to get to Whitehaven so are now unranked. It seems it was just the impatience of youth and they didn’t want to wait for the wind to fill in.  So now 1RTR will win the new trophy – if they complete the race.

1RTR are also in with a chance to win the prestigious Tilman Trophy, for which 4 of the team must reach a summit.  For this stage the skipper Andrew Britton (MBE), who is the C.O. of the regiment, set off to complete his run with Karl White.

Flycatcher, Fire Dancer and Questar arrived after it was light.  Fire Dancer are continuing, despite being a man down after the ankle injury on Snowdon, but fortunately they had 3 runners in the team so Hugo Middleton and Tom Samuel set off for the second land stage.  Later in the morning Laura and Young Guns arrived close together, setting off just 4 minutes apart.  Laura’s riders had different tyres on front and back wheels, but it wasn’t any kind of clever tactic. “The cyclo-cross tyres for the back didn’t arrive in time!” was the explanation. “At least we have a 50% less chance of a puncture on the rough track along Ennerdale,” was the optimistic outlook as they set off.

At the back of the race Driac is still officially competing, having completed the Snowdon run and set off for Whitehaven. They are currently in the Irish Sea off Anglesey.

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