Charting a course of castles and islands

The challenge starts at Alnwick Castle.
The challenge starts at Alnwick Castle.

A 24-hour challenge by land and sea in north Northumberland gets under way tomorrow evening.

At 6.30pm tomorrow, the 2015 Castles and Islands challenge will set off from Alnwick Castle.

Hosted by Coquet Yacht Club, the event is so named as the route takes in five of the region’s landmark castles.

Featuring teams of four to six, runners start from Alnwick Castle and take a cross-country route, via Warkworth Castle, to Amble where they join their boats, which are allowed to motor to the affectionately-known sewer buoy, after which only sail power may be used.

Under sail, the boats must circumnavigate Coquet Island in a clockwise direction then, in any order, visit Newton Haven, Seahouses Harbour, Holy Island and pass through both Inner Sound and Staple Sound in the Farnes.

At each harbour, the runners disembark to complete set runs around Bamburgh, Lindisfarne and Dunstanburgh castles before returning to the finish at Amble.

The idea is for competitors to undertake an optimum of 52 miles of sailing and 26 miles of running in less than 24 hours.

On Saturday, at 9pm, a prize-giving ceremony takes place at the yacht club with prizes for both mono and multi-hull classes with the Challenge Cup, All Rounders Challenge, fastest sailing and fastest running prizes on offer.

As in previous years, North East-based mobile-technology firm TrackaPhone will be enabling people to track the runners and sailors online as they progress through the challenge.

For more information, visit the website –