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                                              1.  Ultimate Direction


YACHT NAME :       Mistral

Length:                  11.58m

Yacht Type:            Sigma

IRC Rating:             0.982

Hull Colour:            White

Draught:                2.03m

Sail No.:                 GBR 8367

Country of Origin:  Wales

Tilman Trophy:       Yes

Family Team:          No


Dave Bird – Skipper

Occupation: Kitchen & Bathroom Fitter, I think

Age: 68

Gender: Male

Nationality: British

Dave Bird, skipper for this race along with Denis Howell, has competed in the race 13 times, 2017 being his 14th.  The first time he did the race was so long ago he can’t remember the year, let alone the date.  The boat he sailed, Shefever, a She 32, came last.  But what an enjoyable experience.  It was the last year the race used Ravenglass as the stop for Scarfel.  


Dave joined the Three Peaks Yacht Race committee that year and the following year marshaled on Ben Nevis.  On a morning 'off duty’ Dave walked the Ben and at the bottom of the zigzags Dave met Darren an ex-Para who was a keen runner.  Dave kept in touch and Darren told a friend, John, another ex-Para who then joined the team.


The following year Dave, and his friend Ian, went all out to get a boat that was capable of getting a good position in the race.  The boat was a new Reflex 38, sponsored by Charter Continuum a computer software company.  The team was joined by another Barmouth local, Martin Parouti.  The charter company wanted the team to use the race to find any snagging that needed before the boat was sold.  From the start of the race, the team followed 2 professional sailors on their own boats until Caernarfon where both leading boats ran aground and they passed them.  Charter Continuum finished the race in 1st position 


Since then Dave won the race again two years later with Geoff West on his Reflex 38, named Spirit of Barmouth, and has done the race on several different yachts coming almost every other position.  He says its not winning, its taking part and finishing that’s important to most teams. Mind he thinks the end of race party also has something to do with it!!!! 


It also comes down to the amount of money the race has raised over the years.  His teams have raised anything from £800 to £18000 for different charities. The race itself has raised into the hundreds of thousands for charities throughout the world.  


Dave’s been asked several times what's the sense in doing the race so many times. He says is if he had any sense he’d stay in bed and watch it from the house.  Dave says the reason he does the race is because of the money raised every year for chosen charities.  Mind the cheap food and drinks and camaraderie in the yacht club and the teams he’s raced with has something to do with it.


Dave raced with Keith Harris several times, the most memorable was when he came off the Ben at 04:00 and a guy on a mountain bike knocked him off his feet into a ditch and carried on.  Keith being the sportsman he was carried on with an ankle the size of a fifa football.  He and Simon came in wearing 118 t-shirts and moustaches before Keith was carried off to hospital.  The team won the fastest leg, from Whitehaven to Corpach, that year, thanks to Keith.  

Denis Howell - Skipper

Occupation: Semi-Retired Outside Broadcast Engineer

Age: 64

Gender: Male

Nationality: British

This will be my 5th year. Have entered to celebrate the 40th year of race but mainly to remember our friend, Keith Harris who died last year from leukaemia having competed with us several times.

Simon Berry

Occupation: Company Director

Age: 50

Gender: Male

Nationality: British

Have taken part in 3 previous Three Peaks Yacht Races – 2009, 2010 and 2011.  Have seen the race from every angle, experiencing F9 gales in the Irish Sea to spending 24 hours rowing through the Swellies, and back, twice in one day.  Running in pouring rain to sweltering heat, this will be my first time named as

Colin Murrell

Occupation: Tax Specialist

Age: 49

Gender: Male

Nationality: British

A very limited amount of sailing and I do mean limited. Experience is more on the running and cycling side of things.


Have been running big distances off-road for twenty five plus years. Most recent known runs and cycle events to mentioned are - Successfully completed the Bob Graham round in June 2014.

Cycled the Fred Whitton in May 2016.

Jedburgh 3 peaks race (38 miles) October 2016.

Also, used to do a lot of rock climbing and mountaineering.

Malcolm Croft

Occupation: Account Manager

Age: 57

Gender: Male

Nationality: British

I have always been passionate about running be this on the road, trail or in the mountains. Over the years, it would be fair to say I had my fair share of events and adventures of which this will be another one from my bucket list!


We are raising money for Bloodwise at in memory of our friend Keith Harris died last year from leukemia having competed with us several times.


- If it wasn't for The Swellies where would we be......


- Is the mast supposed to do that looks like a stick of liquorice


- Good effort Dave we missed the shore but now what about the Corran Ferry straight ahead


- Is anybody else fed up with this rowing thing....

- Fend off.....! Sorry....what’s that mean! Phew that was close .....why didn't you just say stop us from crashing......


- is amazing .... Only in a horrifying way

Follow the team on Facebook at;

 Mistral - Three Peaks Yacht Race 2017
Team Ultimate Direction - Three Peaks Yacht Race 2017
 Denis Howell - Three Peaks Yacht Race 2017
Simon Berry -Three Peaks Yacht Race 2017
Dave Bird - Three Peaks Yacht Race 2017
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