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Australia's Team Whistler win Tilman Trophy in UK Three Peaks

by Peter Campbell on 29 Jun 2011
David Rees at Kit check Three Peaks Yacht Race - copyright http://www.threepeaksyachtrace.co.uk/
Tasmania’s Team Whistler has finished third overall in the tough Three Peaks Yacht Race in Britain for the second consecutive year – but this time the team has also won the prestigious Tilman Trophy for the best all-round performance of sailing and running by all members of the team.

In a courageous effort to win the Tilman Trophy, wellknown Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania members sailors David Rees and Tim Jones jumped ashore as their yacht berthed at Fort William early today after sailing 237 nautical miles up the coast of Scotland to take on the mountain run to the peak of Ben Nevis and back.

The rules of the Tilman Trophy, which commemorates the famous British climber and adventurer Major Bill Tilman, is that four of the five team members must climb the three peaks, Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in England and Ben Nevis is Scotland.

The 34th Three Peaks Race, described as one of Britain’s greatest adventure challenges, finished at Fort William in Scotland early today with the first three yachts completing the final sailing and their runners dashing to the 4040 feet high peak of Ben Nevis and down.

Rees and Jones completed the run in 5 hours and 10 minutes, with the team’s running team of Jacqui Guy and Michael McIntyre accompanying them.

Overnight, the Team Whistler crew had sailed and rowed into second place on the final 30 nautical miles up the Scottish loch to Fort William, finally overtaking the British yacht White Cloud.

They finished only 50 minutes astern of the Irish yacht Danu Technology which had led the fleet throughout the final sailing leg from Whitehaven in England. Team Whistler had won the first two sailing legs but the runners lost vital ground on Scafell Pike mountain.

With the Irish team virtually unassailable, the Tasmanians reverted to Plan B: send two different team members up Ben Nevis, potentially losing second place overall but in with a strong chance of taking out the historic Tilman Trophy.

Danu Technology, a newly-launched Ker 35, has been declared provisional winner of the Three Peaks Race after its runners completed the final running leg to Scotland’s towering Ben Nevis in the very fast time of 3 hours 38 minutes. White Cloud is second and Team Whistler third overall.

The UK Three Peaks Race comprises 389 nautical miles of offshore sailing along the rugged west coast of Wales, England and Scotland, 18 miles of cycling and 72 miles of cross country running, with a total ascent of 14,000 feet to the highest peaks in Wales, England and Scotland – Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis.
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