Yup, you guessed it, we've only gone and added a tender rowing race to start the event! The Dittisham Ferry is no more, to be replaced by the power of you, our lovely competitors. A speedy tender traverse of the Dart will kick things off, followed by a brand new running route out onto the coastal footpath east of the Dart. It may be a bit shorter than the previous run, but there is a reason for that...... Bring it on in 2018.
Well we made it to 5 years! Who'd have thought it? Thank you all so much for being part of it. Every year the race has grown a little more. From just 3 boats in our first year to 14 last year. And the best thing of all is the people who have been part of it - all sharing the spirit of adventure with bags of enthusiasm and innovative techniques for each and every transition! 5 years on, we're a bonafide Yealm Yacht Club Race and have the support of our sponsors, Marchand Petit too. Interest just seems to keep on growing.
So enough basking in the glory of previous years, what are we doing to celebrate the 5 years? Throwing in a few extra bits of fun of course.
NEW for 2018
- A special prize for the fastest team where EVERY member of the team completes at least one running leg (yes skippers that means donning the running shoes!)
- We are introducing 2 classes so that slower yachts can still feel part of the action. Class 2 boats will have a shortened sailing course on day 2 (no Eddystone rounding, just straight to the Yealm)
We have a few other chestnuts up our sleeve but watch this space. Updates to follow shortly!
We look forward to welcoming many more adventurous crews to the 3 Creeks fold.
It's our fourth year and to keep some interest for those returning competitors, we're mixing it up a bit for 2017. Out goes the undulating tour of Bolt Tail and in comes its smaller, angrier brother, to Prawle Point and back. It might be less far, but it's got some serious attitude (or should that be altitude?). It also means a new drop zone in the river instead of at South Sands, which will keep the skippers entertained - watch out for that passenger ferry!
The views are just as good and the trail running is superb. It also has the added advantage of being visible from the sea, so the tension is definitely going to start mounting as the teams watch each other from land and sea.
Check out the route here
This is the view you'll get as you head for home.....
We're delighted to announce the sponsorship of the 3 Creeks Race by local estate agent, Marchand Petit. With offices in Dartmouth, Salcombe and Newton Ferrers it seemed like the ideal partnership, especially as their brand showcases 'sails' in its logo!
The good news for our runners is the sponsorship of lovely polo shirts for all our competitors and it'll also help us promote the event more widely, with support of course from the Yealm Yacht Club too.
Big thanks to Marchand Petit who will be manning the start gun on the day too. Only 3 months to go....
We are delighted to announce that the 3 Creeks Race has been adopted by the Yealm Yacht Club, the home club of the race founders. This is great news as it not only means we can continue to hold the race, but we can offer reduced race fees and have the support of a well established sailing club to help promote it.
Naturally you will see a few minor changes to the administration but the format of the race itself remains the same as 2015, we will just have a few more helping hands. Changes include:
- Handicap - we will use the Port of Plymouth Base Handicap
- Finish - this moves from the Yealm Harbourmaster's Office to the Yealm Yacht Club
- Rules - we will be asking competitors to conform with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Regulations
- Fees - we are introducing an early bird rate for both YYC members and non members
- Team numbers - for safety reasons teams need to comprise 4 or 5 people.
Thank you Yealm Yacht Club!
Thanks to Rick Newcombe, skipper of Exehibitionist and the winning team, for this write-up of 3 Creeks 2015 for his local club on the Exe.
Started by a group of running and sailing enthusiasts last year the 3 Creeks race was intended as an accessible mini 3 peaks race, you know the one that sails between and then runs up the highest points in the UK, Snowden, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis. The Devon 3creeks was intended to be a little less challenging sailed between Dartmouth and the Yealm with most of the running set along the coastal footpath.
The rules and the course are pretty simple. Maximum team of 5, 2 sailing races, 3 runs, runners must run in pairs, must get ashore by man power alone and there should be at least one responsible person on the board the yacht at all times. The winners would be the team with the shortest total time i.e. run times plus handicap adjusted sailing time. This year two teams from Exe SC decided to take up the challenge, Rex Frost’s First 31.7 Electra and Rick Newcombe’s X-34 eXehibitionist .
eXehibitionist fielded the events only mixed gender junior / senior team George Melbourne (17) Skipper and runner, Tony Wood an experienced sailor and runner, May Wood (14) a regular eXehibitionist crew and another fine runner, Abi Wright an occasional sailor and serious runner and Rick who acted as the responsible adult!!
For eXehibitionist the event started with an anxiety provoking Friday afternoon dash out of the Exe scraping through the approach channel with less than 20cm under the keel and a nasty breaking sea, however once out it was fast, if lumpy, sail to the Dart.
Saturday morning and after a race briefing and kit check at the always welcoming Dartmouth Yacht Club the first run, Dartmouth Coronation Green up the hill, (note unusual for a sailing race but hills feature a lot in this event!) back to sea level at Mill creek then up to Dittisham, down to the ferry up the hill on the other side and back to Kingswear. 8 miles. The first team came in some 20 minutes ahead having jumped the Dittisham ferry the next team was chased home by George and May an amazing performance at around 8 minute mile pace.
Then hop on the boat and out to start the first sail race. A steady 18 knots gusting 25 greeted the fleet then a fantastic sail around the Start in perfect conditions. eXehibitionist quickly overtook the boats ahead to lead around the Start and into Salcombe. However Electra despite starting 20 mins after the last boat (their runners got a little lost) sailed an amazing leg choosing to sail inside across Start bay they caught up to within 10 minutes of eXehibitionist, scraping so close to Prawle that if they had got any closer Rex could have answered the phone at the National Coastwatch station on the point.
Run 2 on board eXehibitionist a degree of alarm set in when it was realised that however hard you pumped, the dinghy would not fully inflate. A puncture. So we established the interesting technique of two runners paddling and George pumping frantically as they made for the shore. So a 10 minute advantage had turned into a 5 minute deficit as Tony and Abi set out to chase down the Electra runners one of whom just happened to be Abi’s partner, so no pressure there then!!
This was the tough one - 11 miles along the coast path from South Sands beach to Bolt Tail then inland to Marlbourogh into Salcombe and back to the beach. It was very close but Tony and Abi were first home by a slender margin. It was challenging with Tony taking one extended roll down a step section of the path. Fine running combined with accurate navigation was the secret of success.
Supper on board a pint and back for an early night ahead of the 0600 start. Salcombe harbour staff deserve a vote of thanks for reorganising the pontoons to get us all alongside for the night.
Day 2 sail 2 Salcombe to the Yealm via the Eddystone light. Up at 0500 for the start at Salcombe
harbour limits. George timed eXehibitionist’s start to perfection and we hit the line at 0600 exactly.
After a period of dodgy helming (Rick) eXehibitionist got into her stride and pulled out a big lead getting into the Yealm and a short paddle to the finish line (we were allowed alternative propulsion) as we lost the wind under Mouthstone point to drop her runners at 1034. Dinghy ashore again, however, this time with high tide we were able to get close in and the runners had only a short paddle / pump to the rocky shore.
Run 3 Cellar beach at the mouth of the Yealm around the coast path heading east for 5 miles before turning back toward Newton Ferrers and a finish at the harbour office 8 miles. Abi and Tony made short work of this one and came in with a very comfortable lead.
So it was over although time differential between the first and last teams was considerable, how would the handicaps work out?
The organisers kept the results under wraps until the prize giving BBQ at the Yealm Yacht club, when it was made clear that eXehibitionist had got it with Electra second an Exe SC 1 / 2 fantastic.
This was a great weekend. The concept worked brilliantly - a combination of the challenging sailing close pilotage and boat work to put the runners ashore and an endurance running event all over two days on the beautiful South Devon coast could hardly fail. We very much hope the event will run again with more competitors next year. Don’t miss it!
Luby and Chris Brook are lucky enough to live in Noss Mayo, home to the final running challenge and finish line. Keen sailors and runners, the organisers of this race were inspired by the incredible experience of a similar race format set in the Scottish Islands and the beautiful setting of the South Hams coastline. Their philosophy: life is not worth living unless it's full of adventure.