The 40th Three Peaks Yacht Race

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Team Ajax Win The Tilman Trophy

Rob Howard / 22.06.2017See All Event Posts Follow Event
Team Ajax
Team Ajax / © Rob Howard

The youngest team in this year’s race, Team Ajax, finished their race at 07.49 on Thursday morning, winning the prestigious Tilman Trophy. 

This cup, named after the man whose sailing and mountaineering exploits inspired the race, is for all-round performance, and to take part teams have to put 4 of the team onto a mountain summit.  Ajax went one better and all five of the team summited – which is definitely in the spirit of Tilman.

They are a military team from the Royal Yeomanry and the Queen’s Own Yeomanry, sailing a J109 owned by the Royal Armoured Corps Yacht Club and skippered by Matt Cattell, who is the RACYC Boatswain.

The team was put together by Alexander Shaw and on the finish line he described the race as “immeasurably interesting!” 

He was full of praise for the Skipper’s Guide produced by Keith Mander saying, “It tells you when to turn left or right depending on conditions and it was always correct.  It’s invaluable and I’m not sure we’d have made Caernarfon without it!”

The team, who also included Arthur Fearnall, Alastair Coombe and Rhys Egleton, were all new to the race and they finished in a time of 4 days 17 hours and 49 minutes, in 5th place overall. More importantly though they won one of the big prizes in the race, and they are talking about coming back next year as well.

So far they are the only team to succeed in putting 4 or more onto a summit.  Others had entered the Tilman Trophy but when it came to it they were unable to find 4 of the team able to take on a mountain stage.

Mystery II of Meon arrived today and they were one of the teams listed for the Tilman Trophy, with the idea that two of the crew could walk up and down Ben Nevis ... but then they thought better of it!

Richard Burrows said, “If we’d got here early in the day and the weather had been fine maybe we’d have given it a go, but not today!”  Today the weather is wet with strong, gusting winds and only the bottom third of Ben Nevis is visible at all. 

There are strong gales forecast tomorrow which may affect the one remaining boat still in the race, Team Ultimate Direction. They need to finish the race by 6pm on Friday to avoid being timed out and tomorrow’s gales will be yet another hurdle to overcome as they press on to the finish line.

This afternoon Team Chemsol came in under engine having retired last night. They said they were drifting in thick fog and decided it was time to put the engine on and get to the finish line, which leaves us with 7 competitive boats arrived at the finish line, and one still on the way.

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