Chris Furey is an ex J sailor and a great J friend from Sandy – he shot this pic and info to me this arvo, thought you might like to see it. Taken by Chris off Williamstown in the early 80’s, this is Athol Lidgett’s J24 ‘Jailbreak’ seen here on the burst in classic J style. Chris says, “It was during a JOG regatta out of RYCV when the race officials decided it was far too windy to race so several of us J sailors decided we would go for a blast anyway. The guy on the deck in the blue jacket is John Hooper, the sail maker. The helmsman was Mark Bethwaite (from the famous Bethwaite clan) who went onto win the World J-24’s held in Sydney a few years later. He did this a week after winning the World Soling title in Perth I believe. John and Buster were active J-24 sailors sailing with Kevin Hill I recall. (Additional comment from Rob Hartnett) John and his brother, Olympic Coach Buster, both sailed on the boat.
Jailbreak met an unfortunate end when sailing back from a Mornington race into a strong northerly that built to well over 35 knots. Athol decided they had taken enough punishment in the strong wind and seas and reached off into the lee of Rickets Point where they picked up a mooring just off the old Keefer’s Boatshed near Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron. The crew were picked up and taken ashore but that night the wind suddenly switched to an equally hard south westerly with enormous seas. The boat was torn from its mooring and smashed to unrecognisable pieces on the rocky Beaumaris shore just below the Beauy Pub. Somewhere on the rocks not far offshore there is a J24 lead keel!”
Thanks Chris – keep those old pics coming !