Irish Sailing and Mountaineering Adventure Challenge - The ISAMAC - FAQs

Frequently asked questions - FAQs


When is it going to happen?
The third race will start at 5pm on Saturday 28 May 2022, in Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland.

Is the Irish Sailing and Mountaineering Adventure Challenge (ISAMAC) the same as the Irish Three Peaks Yacht Race?
Yes - The Irish Three Peaks Yacht Race was an earlier name for the event, but was changed to avoid any confusion with the awesome Three Peaks Yacht Race (Barmouth to Fort William).

What is the symbolism behind the ISAMAC logo?
The logo echos the other Trionium race logos with stylised mountains.The greenness represents the lovely greenery of Ireland (and the green of the Irish flag), fed by all that fabulous rain. The tops of the three peaks are covered in snow - showing that they are not to be taken lightly. The smallest of the three hills in the logo is Hungry Hill, although it's not an easy task - the traverse of the Hungry Hill Horseshoe is a serious prospect. The second highest is Mount Brandon, and the highest is Carrauntoohil - Ireland's highest mountain. The three yachts signify different competitors in the race: The largest one is winning: the second largest yacht is lost and is going in the wrong direction. The smallest of the three yachts has given up due to sea-sickness and is going home.

I'm a novice sailor and a slow runner - is this the event for me?
The ISAMAC is a proper challenge… you should have sailing and hillwalking experience, and be properly fit. The sailing is very challenging (North Atlantic swells are a challenge on a good day!) and the hills are not to be messed with. On a scale of hard-core-osity, this is up there with the tougher challenges in the British Isles, such as the Scottish Islands Peaks Race, Three Peaks Yacht Race (Barmouth to Fort William) and the OMM.

Have you had much interest in it so far?
There was a 'wait and see' approach on the first event, and it had three entrants. There were five entrants for the second race, in 2019. The race was postponed in 2020 due to Covid. We hope to have a few crews on the line for the 2022 race.

Do entrants run non-stop up each of the mountains or is it more likely to include some walking too?
Generally, runners will run to the hills, jog the slopes, walk the steep bits and run like hell back down again!

Do people go up the mountains during darkness or do they wait until daylight?
The event takes place very close to mid-summer, so the period of darkness is not very long (around 10.30pm to around 4am). In any case, it’s a race, so teams may proceed at whatever time they arrive. All teams will be required to have head-torches in any case. Some of the hills will require night-navigation. In the first event, in 2018, teams tended to arrange themselves so that they were not on the hills in the dark (apart from Sasseknackered, which descended from Carrauntoohil in the dark). The winners are likely to continue to move, day or night.

What size boat would you expect people to be sailing?
The majority of boats will be from around 26 to 38 feet length.

Is the handicap of the boat taken into account?
The race does not offer a handicap prize, on the basis that most entrants will be of similar size, and that the conditions (heavy weather/light winds/long swells/steep seas) will probably even out over the course of the race for different boats.

What's the weather going to be like?
That's the US$64,000 question! On 16 June 2017, one year from the first event, the sea was calm and the winds were light (almost too light: 5knts). On 16 June 2018, the first overnight sailed got up to F6-7, but then moderated to a F4 for the rest of the week (albeit with some driving rain and cloud on the tops of the hills - alongside sunshine and heat). In 2019 the weather was similar, with F6 on the first night. The likelihood is that you will experience a variety of weather, some good, some not-so-good. Be prepared!

How long do you expect it to take?
From perfromance in the first race, it is expected that the future first finishers will complete the race in about four days (by Wednesday afternoon or earlier). Download the ISAMAC-spreadsheet.xls. A finish time of less than 100 hours would be a major accomplishment.

What is the team size, is there a minimum or maximum number of people per team?
Teams may be from three to six people: You decide!

Is the skipper of the boat required to complete the cycling and running sections?
Not necessarily: It’s only in the ‘All-rounders' category that the skipper has to complete at least one of the legs - in the ‘Runners’ category, only the two designated runners on the crew run the hills.

For the cycle section as described, bikes can be delivered to Templenoe by a shore team. Is this an additional support team which does not include the crew taking part in the event?
Cycles would need to be delivered to Templenoe by your own shore-based support team (which could be a single person, for example). Finnegan's Cycles, Kenmare, can help. Altermatively, you could bring your bikes with you on the boat and take them ashore yourselves!

What is the cut-off date for the early bird entry.
The cut-off for the early-bird (discounted) entry is 31 March.

What happens to our entry fees if the event is cancelled?
If the race is cancelled by the organisers, then all entry fees would be returned in full.

Who’s organising the ISAMAC?
Robert McCaffrey, who says, “I’m an event organiser, runner and sailor of nearly 30 year's experience and have skippered yachts in the Scottish Islands Peaks Race and the Three Peaks Yacht Race. I decided that I would like to try the Irish equivalent, but when I found that there wasn’t one, I decided to organise it myself. I skippered a crew in the first edition, and after we were forced to drop out due to gear failure, I've decided to put in another team for the second edition. We will be back for the final edition, in 2022. The course is a classic, and will test any sailor and any runner.”

What is Trionium?
Trionium is the 'brand' behind all of the organiser's award-winning races and is well-known as a signifier of quality and toughness. As the saying goes, 'Trionium: The hardest stuff known to man.'

Why is your web site so lame?
Cheeky! Our web site is a bit lame-looking since we are adventurers not web designers. If it lacks for any information though, please let us know!

How much is it to enter?
Per team, the early-bird cost will be GBP£300, rising to the standard rate of GBP£400 on 1 April.. Entry closes on 1 May. The cost of entry is comparable to other races of this size, length and complexity, and is designed to cover the race costs only.

Where's the money going?
The race is expected to just cover its costs (and will be backed by sponsors). In any case, a charitable donation will be made to Kerry Mountain Rescue and to the Irish RNLI. After all, we may need them!

Do you need any volunteers to help with the race?
We'd love to have some help 'on the ground.'Volunteers will be welcome - contact the organiser at rob@trionium [dot] com.

Can I get involved in the organisation of the race?
We have many contacts on the ground and have had a lot of enthusiastic support. We are very keen to involve as many local organisations as possible, so that the event has got ‘legs’ and so that it willcontinue to happen again in future years.Contact the organiser at rob@trionium [dot] com.

What might crews need to bring with them on the trip?
The following list is not exhaustive, and might include things that you personally don't need - it's just an aide-memoire:

Obligatory running kit for all runners (see the race rules)

Suggested kit-list for participants

Sleeping bag
Travel pillow or similar
Sailing boots or trainers with non-marking soles
Thermal underwear/jumper/thermal layer for sailing
Sailing suit/oilies/sou’wester
Warm hat
Sailing gloves
Spare glasses if you have them/need them
Sun hat
Sun cream
Lip balm (etc)
Running kit! (including any vaseline/body lube/medications etc)
Camera/phone/tablet etc
Recharging cables and adaptors
Swimming trunks/wet suit
Fishing gear
Slippers/pyjamas/velvet smoking jacket/ivory cigarette holder
Smart clothes for onshore & ISAMAC dinner
Any sailing qualification certificates/log book
Spending money (personal)
Sea-sickness tablets if required
Towel and toiletries
Insect repellent (can be useful if you are at a calm anchorage)
Reading glasses
Food and drink!