MBY triumphs in subversive cross-Channel dash

Motor Boat & Yachting stole a march on the competitors in this year’s Hackett Beaujolais Run by organising a cross-Channel blast by boat.

Around 60 cars took part in the annual rally from Goodwood to the French town of Beaujea, where on the third Thursday of every November the year’s first batch of wine is poured.

The Hackett Beaujolais Run was started in 1972, when a Sunday Times journalist challenged his fellow hacks and readers to be the first to bring him back a bottle of the wine.

The barrels are pierced at midnight, so after joining the French festivities, participants in the Run must get an early start in their bid to be first back in London with the Beaujolais booty.

MBY, however, had set up a rival plan. A cunning Bladerunner RIB fitted with twin 300hp Mercury Verado outboards was waiting in Calais Harbour.

Our batch of wine had been grabbed in Beaujea by rally enthusiast Gavin Miller, who after toasting his French hosts jumped smartly into a souped-up Subaru Impreza and managed to pull up in Calais, amid the screech of brakes, at around 11am.

Once ensconced in a Musto drysuit and lifejacket, he boarded the RIB for a flat and seriously quick cross-Channel blast.

Gavin, MBY news editor Rob Peake, Bladerunner boss Jeremy Watts and navigator Alistair Watts arrived at Butler’s Wharf, London, at 2pm, where they handed one precious bottle to MBY editor Hugo Andreae, who in order not to waste precious seconds had driven his motorbike onto the pontoon.

Storing the cargo on his bike, Hugo then drove safely and responsibly, by his account, round to the Times headquarters in Wapping, presenting the wine with a flourish to the surprised but impressed Sunday Times team.

The result: victory for MBY, and you can read all about it in our February 2008 issue, published early January.

Pictured, from left: MBY news ed Rob Peake, Bladerunner boss Jeremy Watts with the wine, navigator Alistair Watts, and rally driver Gavin Miller.

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® The Hackett Beaujolais Run is a registered trademark.