Team Vlad the Impaler take impressive victory in PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race 27/6/07

Team Vlad the Impaler stormed to an impressive victory at the PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race finishing almost a day ahead of their nearest competition. This year’s race was won in 3 days 8 hours and 37 minutes.

The team is led by skippers Greg Marsh and Ric Searle, with Keith Read, Will Appleby and Adam Marcinowicz rounding out this highly successful team.

This is the second time Vlad the Impaler has won this grueling 389-mile race. In 2005 Greg Marsh, the skipper and owner of Vlad – Simpson 38 one-off – won the race at the first attempt. The next year he came second, and now he’s a winner again, as is Keith Read, who competed with him in all three events.

Ric Searle and Will Appleby have also both raced for the last two years (on Abbeydale Moonshine), and this is their first win. Appleby commenting on the win said: “It’s a relief to win it. We’ve put so much training and preparation into this race, and now we’ve won it we don’t have to do it again!” But that’s what Greg Marsh said in 2005 ?

He explained the crew had been out sailing and training together, and that the runners had completed reckies on all the mountains, which Read knows well in any case. “Our spinnaker hoist/drop training paid off going round Bardsey Head,” he said, “and we took the lead then. Then our runners did a good time on Snowdon and that helped us to just beat the tide in the Menai Strait. It was like that all the way – a real team effort.

“Then we pushed hard all the way to Whitehaven. It was just a matter of keeping concentration and not letting our concentration dip. When the wind dropped we could see our estimated arrival time on the GPS getting later and later. It was horrible knowing we could miss the tide and might get stuck outside the lock gate, but we kept going and just got in. As we went into the lock it was absolutely silent on board as we listened for the keel to scrape the bottom.

“Going up to Fort William was pretty horrible, beating into the wind all the time and all through the night. Then when the main ripped we thought it might be all over. Greg woke Ric up and said he needed help with the main, and we managed to repair it roughly and keep it reefed. It was OK for the final sail up Loch Linnhe and got us here!”

The crew celebrated by opening some Champagne in the dark and the rain on the finish line, and will now have a couple of days to rest and recover before the race party.