The 40th Three Peaks Yacht Race

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Moby J Win the 40th Three Peaks Yacht Race

Rob Howard / 22.06.2017See All Event Posts Follow Event
The Moby J team, winners of the 40th 3 Peaks Yacht Race
The Moby J team, winners of the 40th 3 Peaks Yacht Race / © Rob Howard

The majority of the teams in the 40th 3 Peaks Yacht Race arrived Wednesday night/Thursday morning, and although this was the shortest night of the year all the lead teams were on Ben Nevis in the few hours of darkness.

White Cloud were the first to finish, taking line honours and the trophy to go with that distinction and for skipper John Donnelly it was the first time he’d taken line honours in many attempts. “I’ve been first to arrive as crew with Geoff West,” he said, “but it’s the first time as skipper on my own boat which is very satisfying.”

The White Cloud runners were Phil Scarf and Alistair Morris, and the crew was Nicholas Donnelly and Emma Coates.  For Scarf and Coates it was their first 3 peaks yacht race, and a very successful one.

Among those there to see the team finish was Martin Pound, the skipper of Moby J, and through the night he cheered all the teams back in. He and Donnelly are neighbours, living half a mile apart at Gosport, and are among the two most experienced and successful skippers in the race.

Pound was waiting for his runners at the time, and said he was nervous that Aurora, who were on their way in, could beat his team on handicap and take the overall win. “It’s been very exciting,” he said, “as all along no one really knows who is winning on handicap. You just have to do your best and get on with it.”

His J92 is a smaller boat than his main rivals in the race yet it was near the front all the way, crewed by Deb Fish and Richard Bland, and with a lower handicap and the fastest runners in Muir Morton and Tom Bush they were always one of favourites for the overall win. The time ticked on the two runners took a bit longer than expected before finishing at 03.06 with a time of 3 hours 55 minutes for the Ben Nevis run.

Muir Morton said, “My head torch stopped working so we had only one between us and the detour round the closed bridge added about 2km so it took us longer than we hoped. It was really misty all the way up but on the summit there was a temperature inversion and we were above the clouds so there was no need for a torch. It was amazing.”  Their final aggregate time for all 3 peaks was 14 hours 41 minutes which won them the title of ‘Kings of the Mountains’ for this year, but until Aurora finished the team were still unsure if they won the overall title.

The Aurora runners, John Cherry and Claudio D’Onofrio came back off of the mountains at 05.37 as it was beginning to get light and they were in good spirits, though they’d missed the cloud inversion. Cherry said, “It was misty and wet all the way up and down for us!”

When the calculations were done Aurora had claimed second overall with a total corrected time of 4 days 6 hours and 24 minutes.  They pushed White Cloud into third place and Moby J took their first overall win with a time of 4 days 4 hours 24 minutes.   Their runners played a key role, allowing the team to arrive and leave Whitehaven on a single tide and gaining a crucial 3 hours 35 minutes on those from Aurora. They did some rowing too!

So, the two neighbouring skippers (ages 70 and 72), take the top honours in this year’s race with Moby J also winning the King of the Mountains.  

They will be awarded their trophies at the prize giving dinner in November, and will celebrate tonight at the race party.

[All results and times are provisional and subject to ratification.]

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