Three Peaks Race - Whistler crew's double bid

Whistler - Three Peaks Race 2011
Rob Cruse
Three Peaks Race - The crew of last year’s Tasmanian Three Peaks Race winning yacht Whistler has even higher aspirations this year: to win the local event for the second consecutive year and then win the British Three Peaks after placing a close third overall last year.

Skippered by David Rees, Whistler will be one of eight monohull and multihull yachts lining up at Beauty Point on the Tamar River on Good Friday for the start of the challenging combination of ocean sailing and mountain running.

Whistler last year outsailed the faster multihulls to win the Tasmanian Three Peaks and Rees has elected to stay with a team of three sailors and two runners, although the rules have changed to allow a third sailor in the team.

Michael McIntyre - Three Peaks Race 2011
Rob Cruse
Sailing with Rees in defending the Three Peaks again will be sailor Tim Jones and runners Jacqui Guy and Michael McIntyre. The third team sailor, Jory Lindscott, will miss the event because of injury and will be replaced by David Aplin.

'I’m recovering well and feel certain of being back aboard in the UK in June where we will be chartering the same yacht that we sailed last year, again re-named Whistler,' Lindscott said yesterday.

Whistler’s main rival among the monohull teams during the Easter Three Peaks will be Andrew Jones team AdvantEdge , an Inglis 47 and the largest yacht in the race.

Jones has been a long time crew member with Nick Edmunds’ team Haphazard that also will be a strong contender in the main Monohull division. Race teams this year are entered in just two divisions, monohull and multihull.

With the previous multihull winners Terry Travers and Phillip Marshall not competing this year, the multihull division is wide open.

Three catamarans have entered: the powerful Peccadillo, sailed by Charles Meredith from Victoria, the similar sized VisitFlindersIsland.com.au, sailed by Steve Laird from Hobart and the past multiple winner, but smaller Slingshot, now under the ownership of Jean-Pierre Ravanat, also of Hobart.

Aground in Menai Straits - Three Peaks Race 2011
Rob Cruse
The first sailing leg is an overnight dash across eastern Bass Strait to Lady Barron on Flinders Island followed by a cross-country and mountain run to Mount Strzelecki and return to the little fishing port. Then it’s a long ocean sailing leg down the East Coast to Coles Bay and a run to the second peak, Mount Freycinet.

The third sailing leg is from Coles Bay to Hobart, following by the final and highest mountain run, to the peak of Mount Wellington, total sailing distance of 335 nautical miles, a running distance of 133km, and a total ascent of 1270m.

Three Peaks Race