Tuesday, 21 June 2016


On Wednesday 15th of June Team aparito took line honours in the Three Peaks Yacht Race. The first time that an all female crew had EVER done so. I still can’t stop smiling when I think about it.

Pip Hare our amazing Skipper has already written a brilliant blog accounting our adventure, so I’m not going to repeat any of that (but please do read hers).

But I do want to share some personal reflections of my own on the race. Mainly to thank all the people that made it possible.

In my blog before the race I explained how I wanted to use the race as an opportunity to fly the flag for women in sport, Wales and rare diseases (three things that are usually in the minority) and my hopes to do all three of them proud. I am massively relieved that we accomplished that.

Our fine ship Nunatak has the logo for Findacure proudly displayed on the hull, and we used the opportunity to raise money for them too. A massive thank you to all those that have already donated to this great charity. The link is still open, so if you can please do donate.  I am always very grateful.

We also had the Welsh flag flying from our backstay, and the opportunity to team up with fellow Welsh adventurer Lowri Morgan was a long time ambition which couldn't have worked out better. That Lowri and my long time friend Jo Jackson got on so well was just perfect. Indeed I could not have imagined how well all five of us got on. Bringing five fiercely strong, independent women together always has an element of risk to it. And unfortunately I know too well that it can go horribly wrong – with personalities clashing and more. I need not have worried about any of that with our fabulous team of five! And I can’t wait for the three part documentary sharing our experience to be shown on S4C next month, and on Channel 4 soon after.

The fact that all five of us are highly experienced adventurers / endurance athletes means that being female shouldn't matter. But inevitably it does. We were the fourth all female crew to compete in the 39-year history of the race, and the first to take line honors. That is worth celebrating. Sailing does offer an unique arena where men and women can compete equally, and where brute force or strength is not the only winning factor. The intensity and the pace of the sailing meant that I was merely playing catch up most of the time. Frustrated at not being able to operate at the same level as Pip and Nikki I had to remind myself that I was still a mere novice in sailing terms compared to them, and decided instead to relish on the opportunity to learn from the best. I had asked Pip and Nikki to be part of the team because I knew they were phenomenal sailors, and it was great to watch them demonstrate that – inspiring me to consider where my sailing ability could extend in years to come.  

The list of people that I have to thank for making this a truly once in a lifetime adventure is long, as is always the case in these events. So, in no particular order:
  • ·      Thanks to my colleagues at aparito for believing in this enough to sponsor the event, and covering for me while I was away.
  • ·      Thanks to all our other sponsors Keela, SubZero, Primal Pantry, Mountain House, Oes Gafr Eto for amazing kit and supplies which made our adventure far easier.
  • ·      Thanks to Wendy and the HSBC rowing club for lending us the oars and seats.
  • ·      Thanks to Sian and family for hosting us in Barmouth and driving us around everywhere we needed to be at the race start.
  • ·      Thanks to all my family that came to cheer us off at the start line. Diolch!
  • ·      Thanks to Mike and Pam Jaques for shore crew support in Whitehaven and Fort William, and for keeping Frosty company.
  • ·      Thanks to Pip, Nikki, Lowri and Jo for being phenomenal team mates.
  • ·      But most of all thanks to my Frostie for chartering us the boat, prepping it beforehand, delivering it up to Barmouth and back down from Fort William and for generally being my No 1 fan. Seeing his pink jacket at various land marks along the way made me smile every time. With help from your Dad (Roger Frost) you made it possible, and I was very proud to reward your hard work and trust in us with bringing home the trophies: 
The Daily Telegraph Trophy (first yeacht to finish)
Meirioneth Cup (Second yacht to finish under handicap) 
Flicka Cup (Fasstest team third leg, IRC sail + run)  

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