The Three Peaks Yacht Race 2016

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Perseverance to Get to The Ben

Rob Howard / 16.06.2016See All Event Posts Follow Event
/ © Rob Howard

This afternoon there have been several more finishers, while the runners from Mistral and Arup and Over have come up to Corpach by car to complete Ben Nevis after their boats pulled out of the race.

For Sea Camels, Eric Zon and the skipper James Mansell set off for the summit, and with no intention ofn doing any running at all.  This team wanted to put all 5 on a summit and it was left to the final two to take on the shortest stage in what was described as ‘Tilman-eque’ style!  

They took 9 hours 43 minutes to get back to a rousing reception and Sea Camels had once again completed the race.  There is a trophy called the ‘Kaminga Clogs’, which is a pair of wooden clogs mounted as a trophy, given to the slowest running team, and Sea Camels may be up for that as their total mountain time is 1 day 2 hours and 14 minutes!

The team name came about as the competitors who first thought of it were in the middle east at the time, and the team are certainly one of the best dressed with their own sea camels race logo on their jackets.  

Two other teams to finish today both showed great perseverance to keep going. Moby J won the first two legs and was poised to push on for a win when the skipper Martin Pound decided to go through the Islay Strait and around Jura in something of a make or break move.  It turned out to be a break as hitting high winds and seas damaged the main and they had to retreat, eventually going into Oban to sit out the rising high winds.

“As it is my 6th and last time here on Moby J I went for it,” said Pound, “to do something different to Geoff (West) and to go for the win but we had on the lighter main expecting lighter winds.  In 27 knots of wind it split and in the situation we were in I couldn’t push on.”  After mooring up in Oban the team pressed on, now much further back in the race, but still with ambitions to win more trophies.

“I’ve learnt to look after my runners,” said Pound, “so we rested up at Ballachulish and let them get over their sea sickness and sorted out and they wanted to go for the fastest time on Ben Nevis and even try to win King of the Mountains.”

Muir Morton and Nicholas Barber gave it a good try on Ben Nevis and they did set the fastest time, by some way, but couldn’t make up the deficit on Wight Rose in King of the Mountains. Still, they did stop them having a clean sweep of the mountain trophies. Their time of 3 hours 16 minutes wins them the Grand Hotel Trophy.

They were moored up in Oban close to Rho, who’d also retreated from the weather and with breakages.  “We had instrument damage and engine failure,” said Nick Woolven, “and after taking shelter for a while went out again hoping for lighter winds, but they were stronger and we couldn’t risk going on with no engine so pulled into Oban to regroup. We were lucky going in that the wind was right to take us onto the pontoon under sail or we’d have been in trouble.”

The severity of the wind which caught the later boats also hit Mistral, and they too their main and had instrument failure. (The SUOTC team reported over 40 knots of wind.)  Mistral managed to find a mooring on Easedale after taking shelter there and like several others came up by car with the help of support crew, to complete Ben Nevis and also to join in the race party which takes place tonight.


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