The Three Peaks Yacht Race 2015

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Burning Daylight Make the Finish

Rob Howard / 02.07.2015See All Event Posts Follow Event
Nearly at the finish
Nearly at the finish / © Rob Howard

Team Burning Daylight were the 9th team to finish this morning, on a misty and muggy day when even the foot of Ben Nevis is not visible across the Loch from the finish.

The runners, Neal Connolly and Mike Park, found it difficult to keep to the path on the snowfield at the top and said they’d gone too close to the cornice a couple of times. Park said he’d been bouncing off the rocks on the way down, more falling than running, and Connolly ran through the crowd on the finish line before bending double and taking a few minutes to recover on his own. Then he said, “Never again, I’m marshalling next year!”

The team are all from Cockermouth Mountain Rescue and normally Neil Connolly is at Wasdale Head with his wife Laura, and father-in-law Steve, where they marshal.  This year Laura was determined to get the rescue team into the race, and helped set up the entry and charter, as well as acting as support during the race, along with rescue dog Jake.

The team’s supporters and the crew were all there on the finish line to cheer them home and Jake started barking loudly when the runners came into sight, before running out to meet them.

The crew comprised John Bulman, Richard Greenwood and the skipper was Bob Liddell, who at 70 is the oldest in the race this year.

Greenwood said, “We’ve had some of everything in this race – from fierce gales to total calm. We’ve had to row a few times and got the oars out to row through Corran Narrows when the wind died on us completely.

“We had a great reception at Whitehaven with all our families coming down to meet us, which was nice, but it did mean we didn’t get much rest.  Still, both are runners are competent sailors and they pitched in on the final sail when needed.”

The team have had some problems with the gears and engine on their boat and said they’d been on minimum power for the last 36 hours and had to sail up to the pontoon on arrival, which is tricky to do. (Just beyond it there is no water and they’d be aground.) With this accomplished the runners could set off on the last part of the race.

Most boats in the race will win a trophy and Burning Daylight get the Wrinklies Trophy for the oldest combined age of the team (275), and they may yet win the Last Inn Cup – depending on what happens to Celtic Rowers.

They are now the last boat out on the course, but are still a long way off the finish line. However, the wind is picking up strongly again now (on the finish line anyway) and they have until 6pm on Friday to get to Corpach and complete the race.

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