Magellan Three Peaks Yacht Race

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The Calm Before The Start

Rob / 25.06.2004See All Event Posts Follow Event
On Friday the sun shone on Barmouth and there were clear views of the peak of Cadair Idris and up the river estuary. The neat row of moored yachts on the Fairbourne side of the harbour gradually grew as the late arrivals came in and their flags and pennants fluttered fitfully. It was a serene scene, but this was the calm between the storms.

Many of the yachts were later arriving than they expected, and in need of a few repairs, having taken shelter in surrounding ports and harbours from the gales that lashed the west coast on Wednesday. The two Reflex 38’s, Ryde Harriers and Spirit of Barmouth had sailed up from the Solent and sheltered together in Newlyn, but another Isle of Wight based yacht, Tactix had a much easier time of it.

“It was brought up to nearby Pwllheli by trailer,� said Alon Levy, “and we sailed over yesterday.� He is one of the Israeli team and they have put a lot of work into preparing for the race. “I first saw a film of the race some years ago,� Levy said, “and I was looking for new challenges, so here we are!� They travelled over to the UK for a familiarisation trip several months ago and took Tactix out on the Solent with owner Geoff West (the skipper of Spirit of Barmouth).

He was impressed with their sailing skills and gave them detailed briefs on the course, even lending them his charts, so ‘Spirit of Barmouth’ had to get new ones! On Friday afternoon he was in the bar of the Merioneth Yacht Club with skipper Gadi Aisen looking closely at the charts for the treacherous Menai Strait. Aisen is on Israel’s professional yachting team and the whole team look professional in their kit covered in sponsors logos. The all look exceptionally fit and between them have completed sailing and climbing adventures across the globe and there is no doubt they’ll be a very competitive team.

Not all the yachts made it on time … quite. The rules say they should be in the harbour 24 hours before the start and as Dreamcatcher came past the harbour wall at 15.18 Race Secretary Colin Walker was watching with his binoculars from the yacht club. They will start with a 9 minute penalty as a result. With the late withdrawal of the Police team on Midnight Getaway (they rejected the charter boat as unfit when they went to collect it), Dreamcatcher was the last of the 20 starters in. It is also the biggest boat in the race at 43 feet and easily the most well fitted and comfortable. The words ‘Gin Palace’ were used by more than one of the other crews looking her over, envious of the space no doubt.

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