Three Peaks Yacht Race route

Three Peaks Yacht Race route

The Three Peaks Yacht Race is the grandfather of all adventure races and began in 1977, inspired by the adventures

of the great explorer, mountaineer and sailor HW Tilman. Charles had wanted to take part in this race for years and finally entered for the first time the day after he bought Driac. She has now completed this gruelling race three times.

Moored in Barmouth before the start

Moored in Barmouth before the start

Starting in Barmouth (Tilman’s home) the yachts sail to Caernarfon, Whitehaven and Corpach; at each stop, two of the five crew run up the appropriate mountain. These runs are not easy; Snowdon is 24 miles and 3,560 ft, Scafell Pike is 52 miles (half of it by bike) and over 7,000 ft, and Ben Nevis is 14 miles and 4,500 ft and rucksacs with overnight gear and safety equipment must be carried.

Driac sporting water-sails

Driac sporting water-sails

The sailing is very challenging with several tidal gates and shallow tidal bars; rowing is allowed so it is possible that runners may set off at 3am having been rowing for two hours, or that a slow run can mean the yacht missing the tide. Typical overall  times are between 4 and 7 days. It is a very friendly race with bats and crews of all abilities racing together and is an immensely satisfying event to take part in.