James Yarrow and Gary Heward sailing Dreamer have won the Triangle race

James Yarrow and Gary Heward feel almost guilty about the degree of comfort they enjoyed on the recent Triangle Race see previous news story here, but there are no such feelings of guilt about winning the race, which for James is the fourth attempt. Sailing a standard Starlight 35, they won with unspectacular, but consistant performances in the three legs.

Talking about his boat, Dreamer, which is probably just the sort of boat the originators of this race envisaged taking part, James said: “I’ve had it since 1997, and not only is it a good performance boat, but it’s also a nice cruising boat as well. So unlike some of these guys in their stripped out machines, hot shot machines, we had the comforts of a nice boat to live in at the stopovers, so we feel we’ve cheated a little bit, had it easy.”

It is the stopovers as much as the racing that attracts people back to this biennial amateur double-handed race, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. Summing up why he keeps coming back Yarrow said: “I think it’s the combination of the racing and the stopovers. It’s fantastic that you have really four stopovers, because you start in Torquay, the other two in Ireland and France, then back here again. You get to know people, and I think it’s something to do with the relationship between the two of you on the boat.”

The race goes from Torquay to Crosshaven (220nm), then to Treguier (270nm), and back to Torquay (110nm), and is completed within a fortnight. This year the front runners were probably as diverse a collection of boats as you are likely to find in a race.

Second overall in the race went to husband and wife team Rupert and Kathy Smalley, sailing The Flying Fish a Laser 28, the smallest boat in the fleet. They survived gales in the Western Approaches to win the first leg, then dropped to 10th on the cross Channel leg, before sailing like demons on the sprint home for a fifth, and an overall win in class 4.

Bob Coates and Jeff Grist are ‘serial Trianglers’ having done nine between them, and this time managed a third overall in Andromeda, their ageing Fastnet 34. They also battled all the way with The Flying Fish, for Class 4 honours, with the final leg turning into a match race, in which the Smalley’s hung on to take the leg and overall honours.

The J boats were also well in evidence, with the J/120 Jalfrezi in the hands of Gareth Thomas and Trevor Griffiths, taking line honours on each leg, and doing the double from Crosshaven to Treguier. The winner of the last race, Peter Howe and Mik Underdown took the J/110, Majic into fourth place, with their best result, a second into Treguier.

Overall Results

1. Dreamer, James Yarrow and Gary Heward – Starlight 35 (leg results – 3,5,2)

2. The Flying Fish, Kathy and Rupert Smalley – Laser 28 (leg results – 1,10,5)

3. Andromeda, Robert Coates and Jeff Grist – Fastnet 34 (leg results – 2,9,6)

4. Majic, Peter Howe and Mik Underdown – J/110 (leg results – 9,2,7)

5. Fayme, Andrew and David Smith – One-off 10.45m (leg results – 6,17,1)

6. Jalfrezi, Gareth Thomas and Trevor Griffiths – J/120 (leg results – 5,1,19)