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Leadership from a different perspective – Chris Jones and Louise Makin

Naked Leader Week – 158 (w/c Monday 29 May 2006)

Leadership from a different perspective – Chris Jones and Louise Makin

 Please forward this to anyone who has ever had a dream,

and wonders if they have the courage to take that first step…


I have nothing to add to this amazing story of belief, teamwork and commitment. I hand you over to my very good friends, Chris and Louise, with the promise that I will let you know how they do…

With love to you all, especially to everyone out there making their dream happen, and helping others to do the same.



Louise also manages to run, as CEO, one of the most respected and prestigious UK organisations, BTG, during the week/her spare time!

 Many have successfully undertaken 3 Peaks Challenges, and many charities have benefited from their efforts. However, only a very few have attempted the 3 Peaks Yacht Race which is much more than just the addition of  some sailing to the normal challenge of climbing Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis.

 Arriving in port at whatever time of day or night the wind dictates, each mountain is tackled by 2 of the team. Their route from the coast up to the top of the mountain and back makes each run a mountain marathon, to be conquered whatever the conditions, darkness or light, often through cloud or driving rain, with the 2 team members relying on their compasses to find their way.

 Add to this the 400 nautical miles of offshore yacht racing – from Barmouth through Caernarfon and Whitehaven, to finish in Corpach near Fort William (a distance which alone would make it one of the world’s longest yacht races)  – then limit the team to 5 and you have a challenge worthy of the title “Adventure Race”.

 Often the domain of hardened sailors and wiry fell-runners, the race seemed completely out of reach when the two of us discovered it in our teenage years when we completed a long distance walk in Barmouth. We didn’t imagine that “ordinary people” like us would be lining up many years later in the company of those “real adventurers” we admired from afar.

 However, the seed had been sown and, over 25 years later, our different journeys have given us a taste of the necessary experience: Chris in yacht racing, Louise in mountain marathons, and the unimaginable became a distant possibility.

 But that was just the start, we needed to find 3 other people prepared to join our journey, to be open to learning new skills, to be comfortable sharing their old skills and, above all, to commit to our goal of doing the very best that we can.

 David, our runner, has spent his life running and walking in the Fells. His willingness to teach and lead the rest of us is inspiring and it is through him we have linked our efforts with raising money for the Bendrigg Trust, a charity dedicated to offering disabled and disadvantaged children the opportunity to build confidence and self esteem through their own outdoor adventures.

 Andy has sailed all his life, but had to be convinced that he could run up mountains. He is now our number 2 runner and is key for our fast finish on Ben Nevis.

 Tim, who has done many mountain and rowing challenges, has become a competent sailor and, most importantly, is our Quartermaster and Chief Web Builder.

 Five different people, with different backgrounds, committed to a personal and team journey of openness, sharing and learning, and focused on being the best we possibly can be.

 At 2pm on 17th June, the planning will be over and, in the company of all those “real adventurers”, the race begins. The leadership, team work and personal belief of each of us will be tested. Being the very best we can be will need all of our resolve and effort as both the foreseen and unforeseen challenges of the 2006 Three Peaks Yacht Race unfold.

 This philosophy is shared by the Bendrigg Trust which is why we feel such an affinity with their work. We hope you will support us by making a contribution to the Bendrigg Trust, and by following our progress which can be done through our web site:

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