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The 7th South West 3 Peaks Yacht Race set for 7th to the 9th of June 2019

by Amelia Whitaker 21 Nov 2018 10:49 GMT 7-9 June 2019
South West 3 Peaks Yacht Race © Angie Green

The dates have been set for the seventh South West 3 Peaks Yacht Race!

  • Sail 125 miles
  • The 7th South West 3 Peaks Yacht Race Cycle 140 miles
  • The 7th South West 3 Peaks Yacht Race Run 29 miles
The Race starts in St Mawes, goes to Newlyn, Fowey and finishes in Plymouth.

Crews consist of 6 people, 2 competitors from each boat must complete each land leg. The land legs consist of a circular run in St Mawes, a cycle and run to Lands End, a cycle and run to Brown Willy (Cornwall's highest point) and a cycle and run to Yes Tor (Devon's highest point).

Starts at 10:00 Friday, expected finish early hours of Sunday morning.

For more details see www.nearwaterevents.co.uk/3-peaks-yacht-race

A view below from a competitor from the 2018 race

This year saw a FIRST for the Club - a StMSC team entry into the now well established South West 3 Peaks Race.

In previous years, some people were possibly a bit worried about the hard work involved in getting round the course due to some serious miles to be covered on bike and running, and some overnight sailing, but Team Pasco's proved this was definitely doable, and ended up as the winners!

There were 5 entries in total. - 'Team Pasco's' in China Blue, a Maxi 1100, -'Old and Bold' a Falmouth based team in a lovely Swan 38 skippered by John Beckly, the crew included Donal O'Halloran a very experienced sailor from Falmouth - AGRM, the Plymouth based Royal Marines team - 'Gotta Good Feeling' a team from Plymouth now attempting their third go at winning the event - lastly 'Aurora' a very well sailed Contessa 33 from Wales.

The event started on the Friday morning with a run from St Mawes to St Just and back (2 team members). They then had to jump into a dinghy and row out to the waiting boats, Le Mans style, and off we all went to Newlyn (after stowing dinghy on board).

There was a steady 10 knot SW breeze to get us there, but this went a bit light off the Lizard and there were some interesting resulting tactics, with some boats going closer in and some staying out.

Teams Aurora and Pasco's came into Newlyn pretty much together, around 1500, and the running and cycling then started in earnest with 2 athletes for each boat going to Lands End and back. Meanwhile those remaining on the boats had a quick meal and prepared for the evening sail to Fowey.

The Pasco's team (Craig Brown and Alex Durran) were first back to Newlyn and jumped on board so that we could set off across Mounts bay and round the Lizard and on to Fowey. The other 4 teams all duly took off from Newlyn and then came the long downwind leg overnight to Fowey.

The wind freshened to about 14/15 knots SW and all boats were able to hoist and maintain their spinnakers the whole way down the coast. The athletes tried to get some rest en route, and the sailors concentrated on guiding us along the way.

By the time China Blue (Team Pasco's) entered Fowey Harbour at about 0400, the breeze was picking up substantially and it was quite choppy coming in. We came alongside a pontoon on the Polruan side and then off went Craig (again!) and Aaron Wilkes to Bolventor on their bikes and then on foot to Brown Willy. The sailing crew (Chris de G and, Tony Brelsford and Charlie Thwaites) meanwhile got ready for the next leg to Plymouth and then got their heads down for an hour or so.

The athletes returned, fairly tired, and we immediately cast off. Team Pasco's had built a good physical lead over Team Aurora by this stage, with Gotta Good Feeling in third, but we were aware that on corrected time we were probably only in third place, so the pressure was on!

Coming out of Fowey was interesting! By this time the wind had picked up to a good 20-25 knots and it was coming SW straight into the harbour. However under the rules we were allowed to keep engines on till out of the harbour. Along the way to Plymouth the wind reached gusting speeds of 30+ knots, so Team Pasco's was happy to get in to Plymouth Yacht Haven Marina (around 1300) and drop off the athletes, Craig (again!!) and Alex for her second go. They set off for Meldon Resevoir and then Yes Tor. The original race route plan was that the sailors would race around Eddystone Rock and back whilst the runners/cyclists were doing their stuff, but on this occasion as the wind speeds were building, Race Director Tim Whitaker decided to cancel that last leg.

The now extremely tired Pasco's athletes got back to the marina in a very good time, and as a result the combined team sailing, running and cycling times gave us first place - A fine victory for the STMSC Club boat!

Overall comment - this is a great race and, with a little pre preparation and planning, a lot of fun to compete in. This year there were 5 entries, but one feels that an extra 3/4 entries would make for a fascinating and really exciting weekend. Exhausting at times, but very rewarding! The overall spirit of competition was very good, and we all mixed in well and helped each other along the way.

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