12. Aurora

Yacht Name:           Aurora

Length:                   33'

Yacht Type:             Contessa 33

IRC Rating:              TBC

Hull Colour:            Cream

Draught:                 1.8m

Sail No:                   1039

Port of Origin:         Swansea

Tilman Trophy:        No

I was approached by John and Claudio after hearing about our Cork Week exploits in 2016, we clicked immediately and a love of the total challenge and enjoyment of the Peaks racing experience was started.


We have tried some other Peaks Races since then, each one presenting different hurdles to overcome. It is wonderful to be part of a team with everyone giving it their all, enjoying the journey and being able to visit some of the most spectacular places on the planet.


Always hoped we would come back and do the original one more time. Each year the team changes. This year it is Charlie, Will and Oscar on board doing the wet stuff and Bill and TJ doing the hard stuff. Gordon will be supporting us along the way.


Then there are all the other members of the Aurora Team helping get the boat up and back and supporting us all the way. Our aim is to have a great few days of West Coast adventure.

The team are Fundraising for the MS Society.



Oscar Chess – Skipper

Occupation: Retired teacher

Age: 63

Gender: Male

Nationality: Welsh

Been boating all my life, lots of dinghies, particularly the fabulous Osprey, J24s and cruisers, Dart 18 cats and cruising and racing Aurora around the UK and Ireland.


Particular highlights are over 35 Osprey Nationals and many 'Round The Island' races, Caldey, Sheppy and the Isle of Wight.  More recently several Cork Weeks and three fantastic Peaks races have each been very memorable.

I followed the race in the early days of the late 70's and early 80's and had a half baked plan to do it on a J24, my brother was a runner and ended up running for another team.  The dream of competing went onto the back burner. So glad the pilot light stayed lit.

Competed in 2017 where we had everything from flat calm to honking, and the runners tested their head torches to the max.  We did more rowing than in a Boat Race and had a thrilling race.

Alastair Pringle – Runner

Occupation: (Interim) CEO Equality and Human Rights Commission

Age: 53

Gender: Male

Nationality: Scottish

I've been running from one thing or another all my life! My first road marathon was when I was 39 and then the only place left to go was the hills. Since then I have been running with Shettleston Harriers which was formed in the East End of Glasgow in 1904 at a meeting of cross-country enthusiasts.


As well as being a regular competitor in Scottish Hill racing I have also had the pleasure of running overseas, particularly in the French Alps and in Majorca. Bill (the other runner) and I have competed in multiple mountain marathons together and 2 years ago joined up with Team Aurora for the Scottish Islands Peak Race - my first experience of sailing proper.

We met Team Aurora on the back of the injurious misfortunes of their original runners for the Scottish Peaks Race back in 2019. After coming in first in class we decided there and then (over a pint or 3) to go for the Ireland Sailing and Mountain Race then the British Peaks. Covid-19 scuppered Ireland - let's hope it doesn't with the BPR!

Bill Breckenridge - Runner

Occupation: Handyman (interim)

Age: 54

Gender: Male

Nationality: Scottish

Have done a bit of dinghy sailing in my teens/ 20+ years of running mainly off-road in the hills.

Never happier than when out in the hills competing for Shettleston Harriers or just running for fun. Competed in numerous races of all shapes and sizes over the years and the body is just about holding up!?  Entered the Scottish Island Peaks Race in 2019 which left us wanting more...so here we are! Aims? ... To be as fast as we can.

David Charles - Sailor

Occupation: Retired

Age: 61

Gender: Male

Nationality: British

I have been sailing since I was a kid. Mostly I race dinghies and catamarans.

I am a retired computer programmer, and when I am not sailing, I am either windsurfing, surfing, mountain biking, playing tennis or asleep.

Will Harrison - Sailor

Occupation: University Lecturer

Age: 42

Gender: Male

Nationality: British

Started sailing in dinghies when younger (mostly Mirrors) before moving on to cruisers, taking time off university to sail across the Atlantic many years ago. Have spent most of my life around the water, either sailing, surfing, kitesurfing or diving.

Started sailing on Aurora with Oscar and Charlie about 10 years ago and have been on several adventures since including past 3 Peaks, Scottish Islands Peaks Race, South West Peaks Race and Cork Week.

Raced on the same team in 2017 and have horoughly enjoyed the past races so back for more this year!

Gordon Allan - Support Crew/Driver

Occupation: BSL Interpreter

Age: 61

Gender: Male

Nationality: Scottish

Getting trailed round the country for my partner's running addiction.  My role is getting the Scottish runners to the race start, the bikes to the mid-point and the beers chilled for the finish line!

"Lasagne powered runners hewn from Scottish granite. Biscuit powered sailors with the Irish Sea in their veins. Team Aurora ready for more adventures!"

Charlie, Gordon, TJ, Will, Bill and Oscar
Aurora off Bangor Pier
Bill and TJ, Team Aurora runners
Aurora beating out of the Menai Straits
Team Aurora runners and sailors
Rowing off the Mull of Kintyre
Aurora Runners
Aurora Runners
Aurora Runners
David Charles