Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden

Jack in the Basket Record falls

by Karl Thorne on 1 Sep 2016 28 August 2016

Gary Stones and Abby Keightley-Hanson got up as usual last Sunday and made their separate ways down to the Lymington Town Sailing Club ready to race in their elderly B14, not sure what to expect with a windy forecast and the Solent already carved up into a mess with a strong ebb tide against a 25-30 knot breeze. Little did they know this was to be the day to break a "World Record", and for some, just to break boats.

They said it couldn't be done, not with the new river defences in place and more masts in marinas than ever before to disrupt the prevailing south-westerly. The Jack in the Basket Trophy record for the fastest elapsed time (no handicap) to sail from the Club Line in the Lymington River out to the Jack in the Basket Post (the last channel marker on the on the western side of the river) and back has stood for years. So long in fact nobody could reliably remember who had last broken it, in what and when, all we knew was that there was a time of 14 minutes and 30 seconds for monohulls to beat and some simple sailing instructions to follow.

With the scheduled long distance Coronation Cup cancelled due to the conditions being deemed unsafe for dinghies in the middle of the Solent, the Race Team elected to hold two attempts at beating the Jack and Back record. Both attempts would consist of a mass start and be half an hour apart, ferries, rowing skiffs and the Birmingham Navy allowing.

The first attempt was a sighter, fourteen boats of all types, from an F18 cat to an RS Tera Sport, lined up and started cleanly. The fleet also included a very tired 420 crewed on the wire by a locally famous foiling and skiff-loving octagenarian, Pete Conway, who made it round easily and were one of the early finishers. However the records for cats and monohulls remained very safe, unlike one poor RS600 sailor's mast that couldn't quite cope with the rigours of record breaking.

The second attempt proved to be the one that would have got Norris McWhirter excited. Gary and Abby, having elected to miss the first attempt to prepare their B14 properly for a run across the salt, lined up with the remnants of the fleet to take another shot at the record. In conditions that were by now pretty punchy off the river mouth all the boats elected to tack around the Jack in the Basket post (bizarrely you can choose which side to leave it as part of the SIs) rather than gybe, although even this proved problematic to a few of the lighter boats. All of the fleet returned safely, some under their own power, others not.

The results had handicaps applied, purely for interest, but the real result that mattered was the scratch time of 14 minutes and 18 seconds that Gary and Abby had taken in their B14, it took a few moments to notice that the record had fallen by 12 seconds, mainly due to the Race Officer forgetting what the actual record was, what a momentous day! Richard Keeton sailing his RS700 was also thrilled to have shaved 6 seconds off the existing record and still be in one piece afterwards.

Thanks must go to the Harbour Authorities for tolerating our whacky races, the safety team led by Dave Gorringe whilst the Chief Safety Officer was distracted judging the Concours d'Elegance for some bath tubs ahead of the afternoon's Annual Bath Race. A special mention to deputy-dog race officer Nick Simmons who is a proud new dad to Finn (a little boy) and Merlin (of the Rocket sailing weapon variety).

Related Articles

B14 European Class Association Big Hunt
Looking for missing boats! After a successful appeal to track down B14s that might need new owners, the B14 European Class Association is updating the register of all known B14s in Europe. Some have disappeared, maybe into garages, gardens or the backs of dinghy parks. Posted on 24 Feb
RS Aero Lymington Stadium Racing
Sailing in front of the club balcony Following on from a successful pre Christmas race when lack of wind dictated the format of a very short course at the top of the river next to the club pontoon and in front of the club balcony. Posted on 19 Feb
Project Scaramouche talk in Lymington
Helping get Scaramouche on the map Do you ever look in the mirror and think how fortunate you are, fortunate simply because of the opportunities you have had in life, opportunities you haven't necessarily worked for but ones that have been handed to you? Posted on 25 Jan
B14 Class Update 2017
Looking for second hand boats! The European B14 Class Association would like to ask the dinghy sailing world if they can keep an eye out for any B14s they know of that are languishing in dinghy parks, or garages that they are unlikely to be used in the foreseeable future. Posted on 11 Jan
Royal Lymington Peter Andreae Trophy
Held in tenders due to lack of wind This year's Royal Lymington YC's annual Peter Andreae Trophy was a rowing competition rather than a Scow dinghy race. PRO Stuart Jardine decided that due to the lack of wind the event would be held in the Club's tenders. Posted on 28 Dec 2016
An RS300 Christmas Poem
The 2016 season in verse Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the lake
Not a kicker was creaking, no sail did shake
After a busy season the fleet now look back
On which of the sailors was top of the pack
Posted on 21 Dec 2016
Lymington Hot Toddy Race
Festive hot drink on their return Ten keen dinghies pitched up for Lymington Town Sailing Club's pre Christmas Hot Toddy race. The traditional format is for one all in PY race off the river line with a festive hot drink to greet competitors on their return. Posted on 20 Dec 2016
Nick Craig to remain at the front with Harken UK
One of Great Britain's best amateur sailors Nick Craig is undoubtedly one of Great Britain's best amateur sailors. He has an unmatched record of consistently being #atthefront of the OK, Enterprise, RS400, Phantom and, more recently, the Merlin Rocket, D-One and B14 classes. Posted on 16 Dec 2016
Lymington Town Winter Dinghy Series race 9
Only the hardy ventured out Only the hardy ventured out to take part in race 9 of the winter series. A strong cold easterly wind blowing against the incoming flood tide produced difficult conditions for the competitors, with many retiring after one lap for lunch. Posted on 5 Dec 2016
A Day of Cheating
In the Lymington Merlin Rocket Fleet The title says it all "cheating"; it's how some racing sailors refer to training or practising. Investing in a few hours of training, or better still hiring a coach, can give your performance a boost that just isn't achievable any other way. Posted on 29 Nov 2016