The Three Peaks Yacht Race 2015

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Team Rio are the Winners

Rob Howard / 30.06.2015See All Event Posts Follow Event
Team Rio on the finish line
Team Rio on the finish line / © Rob Howard

Team Rio have won the 38th Three Peaks Yacht Race and become the second Dutch crew to claim the prestigious Daily Telegraph Trophy.

Their runners, Chris Farley-Lewis and Laurence Wilson, crossed the finish line at 12.42 after their run up and down Ben Nevis.  They’d known they were well clear after seeing Wight Rose on Loch Linnhe when they were climbing up Britain’s highest peak but said they didn’t ease off until they’d passed the runners off Wight Rose coming the other on their descent. They knew for sure then the race was won, and when they passed me shortly afterwards Wilson waved his arms in the air and shouted, “We’re so happy!”

After finishing and popping a bottle of champagne with their victorious team Wilson said, “I was on the boat that was 8th last year and didn’t really believe we could win, though having met Joost and seen the boat I did have a sneaking hope. It was really exciting being out in front and is amazing to win. We put 6 months hard training in and I was quicker than last year. It was great to run with Chris and it seemed one of us was always strong when the other hit a low patch.”

Farley-Lewis had never been on a yacht before and said, “It was extreme. I’ve never experienced anything like it! At times it seem like it was all going wrong and was chaotic, but that’s just as I didn’t have any idea what was going on. The sky was grey and the waves were crashing in and we seemed to spend most of our time at an angle!”

Wilson added, “The sailing was amazing. We couldn’t believe where we were when we woke up this morning and realised how far we’d come. “

The skipper, Joost Van der Wal, said, “We never believed we could win it!  We had to take a lot of risks as we knew Wight Rose was so fast.  We blew out one spinnaker and last night had had 26 knots of wind on our spare which is 165 square metres of kite! I think we won the race around Luing where we had more boat speed and pulled away, we were making 14.5 knots and surfing some of the time. Luckily Bob (Weenink) is a dinghy sailor so we put him on the helm then.

“We all took a turn on the helm and as a crew know each other well. We met many years ago at university when we were all rowers and had 4 oars on board as we thought rowing would be our strength – but we didn’t use them at all.

“It is such a fantastic race.  So challenging and such a good course in amazing scenery and the whole organisation is fantastic, with all the facilities and the volunteers. What a wonderful race.”

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