The Three Peaks Yacht Race 2016

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Slowly Through The Swellies

Rob Howard / 12.06.2016See All Event Posts Follow Event
/ © Rob Howard

It was a slow and arduous passage through the Menai Strait for the leading boats on the second day of the race, and one which rewarded those prepared to put their backs into yet more rowing!

After their runners won the lead for them Wight Rose were first away, but with an adverse tide and almost no wind they were not going far and a group of 8 leading boats quickly gathered in the Menai Strait behind them. They searched for wind, but there was none to be found and progress was painfully slow, or if they were rowing again, just painful – especially for the runners who had just been on Snowdon.

Wight Rose did get away from the rest, taking it in turns to row steadily – even the skipper! Czech racer Pavel Paloncy did a lot of rowing and was rueful about the British weather. He was here recently for the Cape Wrath Ultra and the heat wave conditions in Scotland didn’t suit him – now he is on the west coast and there is no wind! His first sailing experience is turning into a rowing race! 

At least he’s already won a trophy, taking the fastest time on Snowdon with Alex Pilkington. They clocked 3 hours 52 minutes and Pilkington said conditions on the mountain were good. “We passed several other teams on the way and reached the top around sunrise,” he said, “and the temperature was pleasant. We were not banking on a 4 hour row after a 4 hour run though!”

They stayed ahead of Muir Morton and Nic Barber on Snowdon. The runners off Moby J were chasing them down but finished 5 minutes slower, and they will hope to catch up that deficit on the last two hills in the King of the Mountains competition.

Moby J also won the first sail leg on handicap and as expected they are a formidable and competitive team.  Once into the Strait they realised they were going nowhere and stopped for a breakfast of scrambled egg and salmon ... then rowed past several other teams!  This included Sail4Cancer and they passed them as if they were standing still, though Dee Caffari and Traharn Chidley were rowing.

Aparito Digital Health had a scare approaching the Menai Bridges, running aground briefly, but they soon got off and were on their way, though Rho passed them to move into second. They too rowed hard through the Strait hoping to pick up wind once they were clear of it. Their late replacement, Oliver Vidal, seemed to have recovered a bit of his good cheer after the Snowdon run brought him to his knees.

The last to come off Snowdon are Team Excellence and once they are on the water again all of the fleet will be on the second sailing leg, spread out through the Menai Strait, all waiting for some wind so they can progress to Whitehaven.

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