Magellan Three Peaks Yacht Race

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The Waiting Game

Rob / 29.06.2004See All Event Posts Follow Event
After the yachts leave Whitehaven the waiting game begins. The boats disappear into a Scottish version of the Bermuda Triangle and the race volunteers, marshals and support crew all suffer from ‘3 peaks fever’.

They pace about at Corpach, looking out to sea and then at their watches, and then out to sea again. They jump when the phone rings and if it’s some elses phone they listen in case their boat is mentioned. The marshals ask the support crews if they know anything and the support ask the marshals if they know anything. What few facts there are retold until they become fiction. The race office in Barmouth deals with passers by and phone enquires, usually with a ‘we don’t know response’. As marshal Don Dowdon said, “All we know for sure is when they left Whitehaven.�

Occasionally news comes through when a boat rings up, then whoever is receiving the call keeps quiet, not wanting to let other back crews know where their boat is. This bizarre, paranoid behaviour affects the crews even more as they try to keep their position secret, though what difference it might make isn’t clear. They are supposed to call in each day (it’s in the rules), but don’t, and have been known to lie about where they are!

So pacing goes on and no one knows quite when to expect their team. They do ring when nearer to the finish, they want to be met after all. Then support crews drive down to the Corran Narrows at the entrance to Loch Linnhe to watch for them and rush back once they are through. The waiting isn’t over though – it always takes longer than expected to get down the loch – it can take 3 or 4 hours sometimes! So still they pace.

There are search parties out. Duncan Phillips goes into the Sound of Jura from Croabh Haven on his motor launch Farsain, and Alec Blanc of Lochaber Watersports took a RIB out beyond the Corran Narrows. Reports from earlier today suggest there is a close race going on with a large group of boats close by each other including Dreamcatcher, Chilli Nomads, Freedom and Tactix (ZEROH+). It may be true ... and it may not ...

[For information on Lochaber Water Sports visit ]

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