October 19, 2021 – Newport, RI – A new outright record was set Tuesday, October 19th for the Around Jamestown Record. Rob Spets Foiling Kiteboard, Skellinger, completed his attempt around Jamestown with an elapsed time of 50 minutes and 48 seconds. This bests the previous record of 00:50:48, held by Jason Carroll’s Mod70 Argo by 1 minute and 14 seconds.
Rob chose to sail the course north from the start off Fort Adams at 12:17:48 EST. Spets departed in an 18-knot WSW breeze at the end of an ebbing tide.
This was Rob’s first attempt to set the Around Jamestown Record, however he had made practice runs in preparation.
Spets said on the record, “If I was going to sum it up, it was survival mode for about 60% of the run. I was super over-powered in the beginning, if I had a smaller kite would have flown it. I played it conservatively up the east passage and that was definitely the hardest part trying to hammer upwind and trying to get around the north end when it was nuking.
I had a game plan going into attempt, it’s something I thought about and looked at for years and I did a couple of practice runs for fun on old equipment. It was really amazing to do it for real and actually get the record in my first record try, I’m kind of blown away.
I had my speed on my watch and I know I needed 22 knots to beat Argo and at the north end I was averaging 19, by the bridge I was averaging 21.5 and I thought ok this is maybe doable and at Beavertail I was at 22 and change, so I thought alright, this last bit is downwind so I can light it up.
The funny thing is there is room for improvement, I hit a school of fish just past the Jamestown bridge and that was my biggest wipeout. There were also a couple of touchdowns so I know there are local guys who could absolutely take it.“