What a weekend for the Castles and Islands 24 hour challenge

Posted on 10th August 2023 | in Clubs + Societies , Community , Leisure

This year’s Castles and Islands race was a glorious affair, with eight yachts and 16 runners taking part. The annual event is organised by Coquet Yacht Club, and sees teams of runners and sailors competing to be the fastest to complete the route in 24 hours.

Albany Express was overall winner

The race takes in five castles in total; runners leave from Alnwick and run 16 miles, past Warkworth Castle to Coquet Yacht Club at Amble, where they board their yachts. After circumnavigating Coquet Island in a clockwise direction the teams then choose their own route to include Dunstanburgh, Bamburgh and Lindisfarne castles.

The race was officially started at the gates of Alnwick Castle at 6pm on Friday 23 June by Ian Gibson and his wife Gill. Ian recently retired as Treasurer of the Coquet Yacht Club after many decades of service.

Some teams decided to have the same two runners for the whole race, other teams sent different runners ashore for each leg, only one boat had each crew member run a leg of the race for full multi skill participation.

Sixteen runners took part

One team sadly suffered engine problems and had to withdraw, but under what was described as feeling like Caribbean heat, all remaining boats were back at Amble and finished the race by 1.30pm on Saturday.

A spokesperson from Coquet Yacht Club thanked all the competitors, some of whom had flown in from the Netherlands, and the sponsors who had donated and provided services. “The event couldn’t happen without the time and efforts given by all our volunteers, the committee who arrange the whole event and the marshals who spend their night looking after the safety of the competitors from remote locations.”

Castles and Islands Challenge 2024 is already in the planning – check out their Facebook page if you are interested in sponsorship or taking part.

This year’s all round winner was the Lene Solo team, the fastest corrected sailing time was from Harriette Express, and the Challenge Cup and therefore overall winner was Albany Express.

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