The Three Peaks Yacht Race

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Ready, Steady ... Row

Rob Howard / 07.06.2014See All Event Posts Follow Event
Rowing off the start line
Rowing off the start line / © Rob Howard

On a day that began with high winds, biblical rains and huge thunderstorms the 2014 Three Peaks Yacht Race started this afternoon in a flat calm, with glassy seas and all the yachts rowing across the start line!

The forecast thunder storms and heavy rains arrived in the morning and were followed by an eerie calm and brightening skies. Then the heavens turned black again and the rains fell while the wind changed direction and sprang up again. It looked for a while as though there would be no crowds to see the race off due to the bad weather, but then it changed yet again.

By the time the teams were on board in the harbour the sun was out and flags were laying limp alongside the flagpoles, not a great prospect for racing, but ideal for the tourists and holiday makers who came out to see the race off, visit the stalls on the promenade and listen to the local Samba band.

The Barmouth lifeboat lead the boats out of the harbour and to the start line a mile off shore and it soon became clear there wasn’t much, if any, wind. The yachts got to the start and raised sail, but fairly quickly decided they had to get the oars out to make any progress. Wight Rose did try to sail over the line, but just ended up behind everyone else and grudgingly got their oars out last of all.

The smartest were the Belgian team Denebola, they just sat by the start buoy, and rowed across when the start flare was fired at 16.30.  Not that it will make a huge difference, but it’s a good feeling to start in the lead.

A few of the yachts, especially those new to the race, soon found their rowing arrangements wanting. Tiger were trying to rig a makeshift rowlock with rope and Baloo didn’t have sweeps and someone was desperately flapping with a dinghy paddle!  The more experienced crews had put greater planning and effort into their rowing setups, knowing they would use them ... but perhaps not expecting to do so quite so early!

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