The Barmouth to Fort William Three Peaks Yacht Race gets underway this weekend – and has announced that energy company E.ON will be the new race sponsor for 2021.
This historic race has a simple concept, with competitors completing the course by sailing, or rowing, through some of the UK’s most challenging waters, and scaling the three highest mountains of Wales, England and Scotland, and has been running for more than decades.
The event will start from Barmouth, in north-west Wales, on Saturday June 19, when 16 teams of sailors and mountain runners will set out for Fort William. The sailors will navigate through the difficult waters of the West Coast, passing through nine tidal gates and by numerous islands and headlands.
They will drop their runners ashore at Caernarfon, Whitehaven and finally Corpach, and from there the runners must run to the summits of Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis, and back. In the Lake District they also cycle part of the route.
In total, teams must sail 389 sea miles, cycle 40 miles, and run 55 miles with 16,500 feet of climbing, all within three to four days, and with little or no rest on the way. If the wind drops they will have to row as well.
Sponsorship manager for the race, Terry Waterhouse, said: ‘The race directors are extremely excited to be working with E.ON as the new race sponsor, and are grateful for their support after a difficult period for outdoor events.
‘2020 was only the second time during its 43 year history that the race had been cancelled, and with local funding activities subsequently limited by the pandemic the support from E.ON will help us deliver the race in 2021.’
Michael Lewis, E.ON UK CEO, added: ‘Wind power is vital to Three Peaks Yacht Race competitors, just as it is a sustainable energy source powering Britain’s cleaner future. As a company with a legacy in renewable energy, we’re proud to combine both through the Three Peaks Yacht Race.
‘Our first of many wind farms was built in North Wales back in 1991 and we’re currently helping families near the race finish in Fort William by delivering energy efficiency to thousands of homes in partnership with the Highland Council.’
The competitors range in age from 23 to 77, and include sailors and runners with international honours. Some have experience of competing in many previous races, while others are attempting the race for the first time. Some crews include several members of one family and one entry are all from White Watch in the Droitwich Fire Service. Along with many other teams they are raising money for charity.
The race will have live satellite tracking, plus daily reporting and photography so race fans can follow all the action.
You can find out all about the teams and follow the race at www.threepeaksyachtrace.co.uk