The Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)
  • Off-Road Running

Waiting in Corpach

Rob Howard / 20.06.2013See All Event Posts Follow Event
Intrepid Misfits set off
Intrepid Misfits set off / © Rob Howard

Corpach on Thursday of the Three Peaks Yacht Race was drenched by persistent wet rain, Ben Nevis was wreathed in cloud and the calm seas of Lock Linnhe were unruffled by anything but the lightest wind.  It was a day of inactivity for the race volunteers and support crews waiting, and for the remaining yachts another day of frustratingly slow movement.

By mid afternoon there were two sets of runners on the mountain, but both had taken things into their own hands and used engine power.  First to go up were the runners from Young Guns, who had driven up from Stranraer.  They had finally given up on their charter yacht, which had steering issues and then engine failure, resulting in Fire Dancer towing them into port, but they had not given up on the race and were determined to do the final peak.

The Skipper Henry Reynolds and Paddy Fletcher still had their mountain to run, and it was a harder proposition than they’d expected, both collapsing onto the grass on the lock side when they got back down – though they had enough energy for a sprint finish over the line.  It was unofficial, but they took around 6 hours 45 minutes, and Ben Nevis left its impression on them!

“We were coming down and telling people not to go up, it wasn’t worth it!” said Paddy Fletcher.  There was a lot of cloud and you couldn’t see far, but there was always more mountain when you could.  The zig-zags went on forever and when we did get to the top I had to check with people that were really were there, that there was no more.

“Coming down was good at first, but then the rocky path hammers your tired legs and coming down is as endless as going up. It was hard, the real shame is we’ve done it but are here with no boat!  We’ll have to have another go, and get a boat that works next time!”

As they got back into Fort William they passed the runners from Intrepid Misfits going up.  They had motored sections of the route to get into the finish, “because otherwise we’d still be out there”, and three of them set off together, the two runners and one of the crew.  Despite being unranked in the race now they do still have a deadline ... to get down for tonight’s race party at the Caol Village Hall. Both the Misfits and the Young Guns saw this as a priority!

The four boats still out are unlikely to make it for the party, although Westholme Warriors seem to be under motor as well now and could do. Teams who arrive during the party often postpone their mountain run until the next morning, so they could do that. Sea Camels are next, still sailing and racing, and Pears n’Peaks and Driac are much further back, still making their way slowly up into the Sound of Jura, some 75 miles from the finish line.

[There are no times for Driac on the leaderboard as they have taken their own times rather than keep all the marshals along the course waiting an extra day or two just for them ... but they are still in the race!]

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