Three Peaks Race - Dragged to victory

The Mobile Travel Agents Big Wave Rider running duo of John Kent and Andrew Kromar power down the final "peak" to a victory for their team in the 2012 H&R Block Three Peaks Race
Paul Scrambler
H&R Block Three Peaks Race - When Mobile Travel Agents Big Wave Rider failed to negotiate the Denison Canal before the compulsory closure at midnight on Sunday night, it looked like they had thrown their lead and the chance for victory.

Rivals Peccadillo, and the leading monohull Advantedge had committed to sailing the longer option around Tasman Island and it appeared to be paying off as the hours went by.

Strong winds funnelling through the canal combined with an outgoing tidal flow prevented the MTA team from rowing through into Norfolk Bay. Taking the opportunity for a sleep, the crew awakened just before 4am and were able to row through just after the bridge re-opened at 4am. But they only managed to travel a few hundred metres before going up on to the bank adjacent to the channel.

H&R Block three peaks race, Mobile Travel Agents Big Wave Rider, In Bass Strait Jessica Watson, Lachlan Pryor with Andrew Kromar (runner), John Kent (runner)
Paul Scrambler

Skipper Bruce Arms and crewman Lachlan Pryor jumped into the water with ropes to drag the 46’ catamaran clear of the shallows while Jessica Watson steered. Their dedication proved the decisive move for victory.

Tacking across Frederick Henry Bay in 27 knot head winds MTA sailed around the Iron Pot into the Derwent River with an hour’s lead over Advantedge, and powered to the line.

In the early hours of Monday morning Peccadillo succumbed temporarily to the heavy conditions. Skipper Charles Meredith said the crew were at the limit of their endurance as they had to 'sail the boat' not shelter in the cabin, so they elected to rest in Port Arthur for a few hours.

Defending champion Peccadillo (Charles Meredith) took second place in the multihull division after her weary crew sought shelter in Port Arthur. Three Peaks Race 2012
Paul Scrambler

Euphoria Furniture (46’ catamaran) continued to struggle around Tasman Island and into Storm Bay. Skipper Steven Laird described 4.5 metre waves with a 1 metre chop on top, and 25-30 knot winds.

'We’d tack out from Tasman Island light , then back again, and there was Tasman Light,' he said. Their persistence in the heavy weather paid off as conditions eased eventually and they arrived in Hobart as second placed multihull. Glory was short lived however as the Peccadillo runners ran two minutes short of a Mount Wellington record to overtake the Euphoria Furniture runners and move their team back into second place in the multihull division.

Andrew Jones’ leading monohull Advantedge asserted her heavy weather ability in the beat up Storm Bay to Hobart arriving as second boat into Constitution Dock. The tenacity of her crew is epitomised by their decision to sail from Flinders Island with only a storm mainsail as their regular sail had been damaged beyond repair in the Good Friday night storm. Reaching Coles Bay they fitted an older mainsail and continued to Hobart for a divisional win.

The remaining contestants in the monohull division were stranded at Denison Canal unable to transit. While Tilt Genesis Fitness retired, Centre Euro Wines and Apollonius accepted an 18 hour penalty allowing them to motor through the canal and resume racing. These teams are expected into Hobart just after dark with runners having to complete the Mount Wellington leg by head torch light.

At 4pm the finished teams are in order, Mobile Travel Agents Big Wave Rider (1.28.26pm), Advantedge (2.51.11pm), Peccadillo (3.32.34pm), Euphoria Furniture (3.42.02pm).

Three Peaks website