Magellan Three Peaks Yacht Race

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Hellefix Arrive

Rob / 29.06.2004See All Event Posts Follow Event
Hellefix goes through the Corran Narrows
Hellefix goes through the Corran Narrows
The Dutch yacht Hellefix arrived at Corpach lock basin on the outskirts of Fort William at 13.55 after a slow passage up Loch Linnhe, including a final session of rowing. Since leaving Whitehaven they’d seen no other sails behind them and when Rob Barel and Machiel Ittmann set off up the mountain they knew that barring any mishap on this final peak the race was theirs. They won’t be taking it easy though, as they are leading the ‘King of the Mountains’ trophy too. (Their combined time for both peaks so far is 12 hours 51 minutes.)

They nearly did have a mishap coming ashore. The yacht pulled in alongside the low level pontoon on a pier at the end of the lock and Ittmann jumped down, but Rob Barel straddled the rail, slipped and for moment was hanging upside down, headfirst towards the water as the yacht swung away from the pontoon. Luckily, there were some nearby hands to grab him and pull him upright and ashore. At present the two runners are up Ben Nevis, where it is raining hard and visibility is almost zero. They are expected to arrive back at Corpach around 20.00, when their crew will be waiting to cheer them in and to celebrate.

One the runners were off Skipper Jack Kamminga took Hellefix into the lock basin to moor and the crew busied themselves tidying the boat – there will be no relaxing until the two runners are back. Jack is sailing with his son, Mike, and British sailor Nick Hoad.

The skipper said he’s had only 6 hours sleep in the whole race and Hoad said things had gone remarkably to plan. “We hit the tides and times we aimed for pretty much,� he said. “The jostling for position coming into Caernarfon was interesting and in the end it was Spirit of Barmouth’s undoing as they pushed too hard to be first to arrive. That was to our advantage, but it was a pity not to race against them.�

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