After a long and difficult sail to Caernarfon for all the crews there is still everything to play for on day two of the Magellan Three Peaks Yacht Race
After a long and difficult sail to Caernarfon for all the crews there is still everything to play for on day two of the Magellan Three Peaks Yacht Race.
In the calm weather this race is hard work and tactics play a key role. Although the faster yachts got away at the start it wasn’t long before many were becalmed and thinking about breaking out the oars. Rowing plays a vital role, moving the yachts into patches of wind or giving them that extra knot of speed when fighting against a tidal stream.
‘Ryde Harriers YC’ are well prepared with large carbon fibre sweeps and put these to good use, swiftly passing the static leaders ‘Spirit of Barmouth’ and ‘Hellefix’ and moving into the lead rounding Bardsey Head. ‘Spirit of Barmouth’ had great difficulty getting round the Lleyn Penninsula at all, making three attempts close in shore. Eventually giving up, they went around Bardsey Island allowing the rest of the fleet to catch up in conditions which now favoured the smaller, lighter boats.
During the long night sail ‘Spirit of Barmouth’ was able to pass ‘Ryde Harriers YC’ who had earlier taken the lead, sail up to the entrance of the Menai Strait and regain a strong lead. Crossing the Caernarfon Bar safely, they caught the tide into the Strait and arrived at 03.45 on Sunday morning. ‘Ryde Harriers YC’ arrived at 05.19 surprised to find ‘Spirit of Barmouth’ already there.
‘Hellefix’ were third to arrive, shortly afterwards at 05.51. Runners, Rob Barel and Bart Schweitzer set off up Snowdon and were expected back in less than 5 hours
Later boats in struggled against the outgoing tide, but ‘Chic Nic’ being the smallest boat (Nicholson 30) got through more easily than most and in 4th place. ‘Hedonist’ missed the buoy by 10m on a tack and were rowing hard just to hold position, though they got through eventually. Not so fortunate was the sleek, wooden hulled ‘Marion Maid’ who came aground coming into the Strait. They will now have to wait until the tide rises to allow them to rejoin the race. As the runners from ‘Hellefix’ returned from the mountain the last boats, ‘Milly Brown’ and ‘Reiver’, arrived at Caernarfon. ‘Spirit of Barmouth’ by this point was already clear of the difficult passage of the Menai Strait on her way towards Whitehaven.
Though the clear, warm conditions of the early morning changed quickly to cooler, overcast and showery weather, this brought some much needed breeze to help the later boats through the Menai Strait.