Australia's Whistler set for UK Three Peaks Race

UK Three Peaks yachts in the lock at Whitehaven during last year’s event - Three Peaks Race 2011
Team Whistler
Three Peaks Race 2011 will now be taken on by Tasmania’s Team Whistler who have now arrived in Britain for their second bid to win the grueling race.

The race is a combination of offshore sailing and marathon mountain running along the rugged western coastlines of Wales and Scotland.

Skipper David Rees left Cowes on the Isle of Wight on Sunday with the team’s chartered yacht to sail along the south coast of England to Barmouth, Wales, where the event will start on Saturday.

The yacht is the same Reflex 38 that the Tasmanians chartered last year and will be re-named Team Whistler for the race.

This is the second UK Three Peaks for David and his crew of sailors Tim Jones and Jory Linscott and runners Jacqui Guy and Michael McIntyre. In 2010 they won the Tasmanian Three Peaks Race and finished third in the UK event.

1169 David Rees, skipper of Team Whistler - Three Peaks Race 2011
'We are all looking forward to the race; we have the advantage of knowing the boat and the course, but it is a very challenging race for both sailors and runners,' Rees said at Cowes on Sunday.

The UK Three Peaks, on which the Tasmanian Three Peaks is modelled, starts on Saturday afternoon (UK time) with a sail from Barmouth to Caernarfon for the first run up Mt Snowdon.

'After Snowdon, we head to Whitehaven for the Scafell Peak run and then to Fort William in Scotland for the final run to the peak of Ben Nevis,' Rees explained.

'We led the race to Whitehaven last year and then had to watch as the smaller boats were sent through the Whitehaven lock ahead of us. This year we hope we can get through the lock and complete the run on one tide,' he added.

A record fleet of 32 yachts has entered this year’s UK Three Peaks that involves 339 nautical miles of sailing, 26 miles of cycling and 72 miles of running with 14,000 fleet of ascent. The race is expected to finish on Thursday week, 30 June.

Three Peaks Race website