Dave Byrnes' Adventures

UK Three Peaks Yacht Race - 2004

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(from notes made soon after the race)

Day 1 (Saturday, 26 June 2004)

  • Going for speed with a favourable wind and some of us sitting/hanging over the port side and watching the other yachts shortly after the start.

  • Negotiating the tricky channel and shallow bar as we entered Carnarvon at night, trying to spot the channel markers and watching the depth finder closely.

  • The buzz on board as we identified and manoeuvred into the dock at Carnarvon and climbed ashore to head off for Snowdon.

Day 2 (Sunday, 27 June 2004)

  • Greeting Saturday-night revellers along the road as we headed out of Carnarvon.

  • Trying to follow the Snowdon Ranger trail in the upper elevations with visibility so poor that we sometimes had trouble seeing the ground at our feet in the dark and fog.

  • Bitterly cold and soaking wet at the top of Snowdon trying to stamp our cards with numb fingers and desperate to begin the journey down the mountain to warmer climes.

  • The never-ending road run on very tired legs from Llanberis back to Carnarvon.

  • Catching the Israeli runners in the dawn light just before reaching the boat at Carnarvon and seeing their astonishment (“what time did you run?”).

  • The battle to get under the Menai Bridge against the current and in company with our competitors.

  • The interminable time it seemed to take to sail the last miles into Whitehaven in the evening light.

  • Buying a late night Mexican pizza in Whitehaven that was so spicy I could barely eat it and regretting it for the rest of the night.

Day 3 (Monday, 28 June 2004)

  • The excitement of John and Stephen’s earlier-than-expected arrival back at Whitehaven after a great performance and our ability to just get away without losing any time.

  • We had been looking forward to having some coffee and pastries for breakfast while waiting for them!

  • The all-day slog heeled right over as we headed for the Mull of Galloway with strong but favourable winds from the south.

Day 4 (Tuesday, 29 June 2004)

  • Trying to get around the Mull of Kintyre in the early morning light against the run of the tide and finally managing to do it by sailing close to the coast and opening up a break against some of our near competitors.

  • The long and fast spinnaker run up all day up the Sound of Jura, Firth of Lorn and Loch Linnhe to Fort William through the Scottish Isles and Highlands.

Day 5 (Wednesday, 30 June 2004)

  • Setting off from the dock into the lonely and wet darkness bound for Ben Nevis.

  • Mounting concern when I realised I had led us off the trail in the Zig-Zags on the upper reaches of Ben Nevis in abominable conditions and the relief I felt when we picked up the trail again without losing much time.

  • Relief and pleasure at completing the event without mishap and in good time.

General recollections

  • Sharing a sleeping bag with John (did we end up with the right ones?  does it matter?)

  • Reluctance to prepare drinks and meals down below when the boat was rocking but greatly appreciating the hot meals and drinks that were willingly prepared by others, particularly John.

  • Reluctance to go into the toilet unless completely necessary!

  • The pleasure and comfort of meeting the support crew in port and along road.

  • The patience and cool temperament of Ian.

  • The camaraderie aboard the boat in all situations.



Round Ireland

Hume & Hovell Walking Track

Via Alpina

Australian Alps Walking Track

Land's End to John O'Groats

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt

Australia Tip to Top MTB

Adelaide to Darwin MTB

Sydney to Melbourne MTB

Three Peaks Race

Appalachian Trail

Alpine Track

You can email Dave directly at dave@davebyrnes.com.au or subscribe to his Adventure Blogs here.

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