Sadly Team White Clouds had to withdraw from the 3 Peaks Yacht Race on sunday evening.
A good start saw us leading away from the line and holding our own against the bigger faster boats on the first sailing leg from Barmouth to Caernarfon. Some determined short tacking very close to the rocks kept us in 2nd place, about 30 mins behind Team Whistler as we docked at 1 a.m. sunday for the first run.
The first run passed fairly uneventfully (always nice to have a mountain sunrise), we did lose one place on the run, as my running partner Eddie was carrying a bit of a hip injury, but still left habour in 3rd position not far behind. Thanks to Mountain Equipment and Rab who provided me with kit for the race. My first use of eVent but more but more of that later.
Into the Menai Straight in very light winds and unfortunately we ran aground just past the first road bridge. Although this was not a stellar racing tactic, it wasn’t the end of the world as the light winds meant that the lead gaggle of boats would all regroup at Whitehaven waiting for deep enough water to enter the lock. The tide went down leaving the boat at a pretty alarming angle and then the tide came back in again. About 15mins before we would have floated free we were struck broadside by Team Krishna from Israel and pushed further onto the rocks.
Both boats were now trapped broadside on the rocks by the rushing tide. Quite some excitement for the watchers on the bridge who began to gather. The inshore lifeboat attended and first towed Krishna free and then us. According to race rules outside assistance meant we were now DQ’ed.
Our skipper felt that the impact was severe enough for us to go straight to the nearest boatyard and have the boat out of the water to inspect the damage. Thankfully no structural damage but for us the race and desire to race was over and we headed home.
Although a pretty disappointing race performance I had an excellent time. I was seasick on the first leg as a force 5 wind against the tide makes for bumpy sea conditions for a fell runner like me but still loved the sailing and will definitely be back next year for another shot. Thanks to John, Nick and Richard our sailing crew and Eddie my running partner.