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The Leaders Into Caernarfon

Rob Howard / 07.06.2014See All Event Posts Follow Event
The runners from Denebola come ashore
The runners from Denebola come ashore / © Rob Howard

Having lead all the way through the first leg the British Army boat was the first to arrive in Caernarfon, pulling alongside the pier by Victoria Doc at 01.55 in the morning. Their support crew were there to greet them and called across to the skipper that they had about a 1 kilometer lead to which the reply was; “I’d prefer a mile!”

The runners coming ashore were John Adeney and Matt Sargent, and they will complete Snowdon and Ben Nevis, while the other two runners aboard race the longer Scafell Pike stage in their attempt to win the Tilman Trophy.

“We had a good run,” said Sargent. “We had to row around Bardsey Head as we hit it at slack tide unfortunately, but then it was never less than 7 or 8 knots and we had the spinnaker up. We trawled it doing about 20 knots!” The pair estimated their time on Snowdon at 5 hours and out of their hearing their support crew commented; “We drove the route and it’s a long, long way! We are not telling them anything though, just let them go at it.”

Next in at 02.25 was Wight Rose and skipper Geoff West was happy enough to be so close. “With a reach both sides of Bardsey that leg suited them,” he said, “so 30 minutes behind is not so bad. I’ll settle for that.”

This team is not in the Tilman Trophy and has two fast runners aboard, Alex Pilkington and Stu Walker, both experienced adventure racers who I last saw compete in the AR World Champs in Costa Rica.  They are not experienced sailors though and Pilkington said, “I don’t think I’m the nautical type. I managed to shut my eyes and not be seasick, but not to sleep. It’s good to be on land.” They were not very organised coming ashore and forgot their Yellowbrick Tracker so lost a few minutes getting the boat to come back with it. The pair estimated a very fast time of 3 hours 40 minutes.

Next in were the Belgian team Denebola and the 2 ladies on board, Annelies Brak and Sofie Vandamme came ashore to run, estimating their time at 6 or 7 hours. This is a Tilman Trophy team too and they seemed well prepared. “I know the way,” said Sofie, “I was here 2 days ago to do all the route and check the way.”

Fourth to arrive was Moby J at 03.02, with last year’s record breaking runners on board, brothers Chris and Adam Perry. They hold the record on both other mountains, but were not too gung ho about taking the Snowdon record. “It’s a tough record to match,” said Chris, “and we have 2 more peaks to do so we’ll have to see, but we’ll go hard and have good conditions this year. We’ve actually slept and eaten well and not been sick, so that’s an improvement on last year too!”

As all the runners set off the boats dropped anchor nearby as the first light began to creep into the sky.  It seems certain they will leave in a different order to their arrival, but what that order will be is now down to the runners, and who gets back off Snowdon first.

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