Becalmed


Night at the Whitehaven Marina. Red Dragon and Parhelion await the return of their runners from Scafell.

The second leg of the race has been frustrating for all the yachts, becalmed or moving slowly between patches of wind, gradually making progress northwards. Many have been rowing for long periods and by the end of Monday, only 7 yachts have reached Whitehaven, and only one has left.

First in, and the only one to leave so far, was Charter Continuum, arriving just after 6.30 in the morning and so giving their runners plenty of daylight for the long trip to Scafell Pike. In fact there was no hurry to return as the deep keel of the Reflex 38 meant they could not leave until the tide had risen enough to allow them out of the lock gate. Even so, they left before anyone else arrived, and will now be hard to catch.

Surprisingly Thunderchild was next to arrive, having flown a Spinnaker and stayed close inshore they had gained a lot of time, and with a lifting keel just managed to get in on arrival. At the time of writing their runners have been out over 12 hours, but they will leave early Tuesday morning, leading the Tilman Trophy, and unless Red Dragonís runners pass them, in second place.

Red Dragon and Simply Red arrived within a minute of each other, but Paula Jeffs and Dave Whittey soon overtook the runners from Simply Red, and those from Midstream, who were 3rd into port. Having arrived in the evening all the runners face some time out in the dark, a fact which could hamper the chances of Jeffs and Whittey, who lead in the King of the Mountains competition after the Snowdon run. All of the runners are finding the new course hard, as it involves more climbing across Black Sail Pass and reach Wasdale Head, before climbing Scafell Pike.

Team Mojo and Parhelion arrived late in the day and the rest of the yachts are still out at sea. The only one to call it a day is Team Reflex, last years winning crew, who have retired to the Isle of Man.