With a broken boom and torn sails, Lightning Reflex has sailed into the record books and slashed the Helly Hansen Three Peaks Yacht Race record by 15 hours
With a broken boom and torn sails, Lightning Reflex has sailed into the record books and slashed the Helly Hansen Three Peaks Yacht Race record by 15 hours.
The yacht arrived at its final destination at 2320 in a howling gale, but this didn’t stop the runners setting off on the final running leg of the race, up Ben Nevis. Slowed down by the extremely poor visibility and terrible weather conditions, Aled Rees and Adrian Bailey finally crossed the finish line at 0347 on Tuesday 18 June 2002. The team, Geoff West – skipper, Ken Fitzpatrick – navigator, Dave Jones, Aled Rees and Adrian Bailey, who were ranked favourites before the start of race, have expressed how tough the last two days, 14 hours and 22 minutes have been. “The conditions have been extremely enduring and we’ve all had to stay focused throughout the race. Thanks to Helly Hansen’s protective clothing we’ve been able to stay warm, dry and enjoy the challenge. Breaking the record and coming home first is an added bonus.
“It’s been windy all the time, which has in turn given us some exciting, but hard sailing”, said Geoff West, owner and skipper of Lightening Reflex. “On leaving Whitehaven for the final sailing leg we encountered a Force 10. I’ve been out in a these conditions before, but this was the first time I’d chosen to go out into a Force 10, but it has paid off.”
With the Three Peaks Yacht Race celebrating its 25th anniversary and Helly Hansen celebrating its 125th, a new race record seems to be an appropriate way to mark the 2002 event.