Three Peaks Yacht Race - Barmouth to Fort William.
Three Peaks Yacht Race 2011
The three leading boats have now arrived in Fort William, with a huge lead over the rest of the fleet and their runners are on Ben Nevis completing the race and disputing the major race trophies between them.
Danu Technologies led all the way from Whitehaven, keeping their distance from both Team Whistler and White Clouds with a combination of sailing, rowing and tactics. John Prudhoe said, 'We had to take down sail in the North Channel where a strong wind over tide made for difficult conditions, but after that we could put more sail up and make steady progress. We rowed a fair bit, making good progress, with Andrew rowing pretty much all the time and either myself or Glen joining him, so the runners could rest up.' He added, 'We’ve had little sleep. I got 30 minutes then they woke me asking where we were.'
He went on to explain that the navigation computer on which he had planned the whole race, was destroyed at the start, and he’d had to manage with ‘bits and bobs’ and borrowed charts. In those horrendous conditions at the start one of their runners was also swept across the deck, breaking a stanchion, which then pierced a sail, but was luckily uninjured. Ward added, 'The runners had never been on a boat before and we were trying to convince them all this was normal'
Despite everything the team are now in position to win the race, and although Gary Bailey had a very sore knee after the last run, it is unlikely they can be caught ... especially as the second team in sent their sailors up the mountain! This was Team Whistler from Australia, who knew the dream of victory had gone, but had a plan B ready. They had entered the Tilman Trophy and now needed to put two different runners up Ben Nevis to win the all rounders title.
So, skipper David Rees and Tim Jones, steered the Reflex 38 onto the pontoon by the lock gates at Corpach, then grabbed the runners packs and jumped ashore for the kit check before setting off up the mountain. With White Clouds arriving in the third place just 47 minutes later it will most likely cost them second place overall, but the Tilman Trophy is such a prestigious trophy it will be worth the price. They are also lucky to have a fine, clear night, with Ben Nevis lit up by evening sunshine and clear of cloud.
Three Peaks Yacht race website here