Tales from the sea


Becky Walford, 'itching to go', motors Clipper to the Whitehaven sea lock

As the yachts have passed through Whitehaven the crews have recounted their adventures since leaving Caernarfon. Inevitably, there were more tales of mishaps in the Swellies. As they changed an inner tube on the side of Ennerdale the runners/riders from The Hustler told us how they had been aground on Cribben Rock for 4 hours, and had closed all hatches, got the dinghy out and taken all precautions to abandon ship. It sounded a frightening experience, especially as they are not regular sailors, but after bouncing across the rocks for a while they floated safely off.

For part of the time Team Reflex were aground (again) quite close to them and Kookabura sailed straight between them. Later on Team Reflex, became one of the first to pull out of the competition as the calm conditions left them without enough time to complete the race and return ready for Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight.

After a brief encounter with a rib advising them that there was a mile exclusion zone around oil rigs Kookabura made it in and Nick and Liz Bradley set off up Scafell Pike. With plenty of time on their hands the crew took advantage of the local facilities and while Keith Allday was finding B&B at the local hotel, the rest of the crew were seen heading for MacDonalds!

There were plenty of stories of long hours at the oars, Chic Nic said they had rowed for 16 hours in total, and Team No Limit were jubilant after rowing and just scraping into harbour across the outer sill and through the lock gates. The extra effort saved them a 4 hour wait, which has frustrated many teams, especially those with deeper keels. Leopard Clipper, still bursting with enthusiasm, had a long wait to leave and a fair bit of 'chat' with the lock keeper about when they could go.

Charter Continuum did try and go too early and was stuck outside the harbour for a while, then moved very slowly in light breezes for a long time. However, latest reports are the breeze is picking up and Charter Continuum is still in the lead, entering the Sound of Jura at midday on Wednesday.