The Three Peaks Yacht Race 2016

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Wight Rose are Kings of the Mountains

Rob Howard / 15.06.2016See All Event Posts Follow Event
Wight Rose toast their finish of the Three Peaks Yacht Race
Wight Rose toast their finish of the Three Peaks Yacht Race / © Rob Howard

The third boat to finish today is the X99 Wight Rose and they put ashore their runners Alex Pilkington and Pavel Paloncy for their final run up Ben Nevis.

It is familiar territory to Pilkington, who is in his third race, but was new for his Czech team mate, and the pair set the fastest time so far of 3 hours 30 minutes exactly.  Conditions are still very poor and they raced in hard at the end “to get it finished” and it was a job well done as their time is unlikely to be beaten.

If that is the case they will win all 3 trophies for the mountain runs, plus the prestigious King of the Mountains title for the best overall time on the 3 peaks. They set a time of 3.52 on Snowdon, 6.25 on the Scafell Pike stage, and with 3.30 on Ben Nevis have a total time of 13 hours 47 minutes which won’t be beaten now.

The team had hoped to be in the mix for the overall win, but a slow final sail up Loch Linnhe left them too much to do on the run and their adjusted time is behind Pure Attitude and Aparito. “It’s a very light boat and while the larger boats can push through we were just stopped by the waves,” said the skipper Geoff West. In fact he said he was “one of three skippers”, adding, “In this race I think it’s important to share out the decision making.  It can’t be left to one person over such a long period or they get  exhausted and we all got along fine.”

Paloncy said of his first experience of the race (and of sailing), “I liked it. We had a lot of different conditions. Some calm and in this stage also a bit uncomfortable, but I was asking about the sailing trying to learn as we went along. I like to try new things and this race is very different. I would come back again if anyone wanted me on a boat.”

When the team finished they opened their bottle of Bruichladdich whiskey to celebrate (then the champagne and the beer – an interesting mix!).  At that time no other race boats had arrived. The next 2 due in are SUOTC and Sail4Cancer who have been fighting the tide and the wind down Loch Linnhe and it looks like the student team are in position to take The Tilman Trophy for putting 4 runners on a peak. This has been their main objective and many regard it as the blue ribband trophy of the race.

News from further back is that the unofficial team on the catamaran ABF – The Soldier’s Charity decided to pull into Portpartick and their support crew drove them up to Corpach. Three of the team are now on Ben Nevis completing their run.

Both Moby J and Rho have pulled into Oban but as far as we know are continuing, they are resting up after some high winds, which have forced Mistral to retire with some damge.

Moby J won both the first legs (combined run and sail on handicap) and were poised to push for the race win when a failure on the mainsail at a critical time in the Sound of Islay cost them that chance. They were pushed back in the tide and lost a lot of ground so are perhaps looking to get some repairs.


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