Polar Race 2005

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Jock 'don't let me cook' Wishart

By Polar Race quartermaster, and ex-firefighter, Simon Marshall

Jock Wishart is well known as both founder and organiser of Polar Race, in addition to the myriad of other polar, sailing and rowing escapades he has been involved in. Within the circles of people who have worked with him before however, he is famous, or more correctly infamous as one of the worst cooks in the history of polar expeditions.

Jock Wishart
Jock Wishart

During the 1996 Ultimate Challenge to the Magnetic North Pole Jock single-handedly managed to burn three pans whilst making hot chocolate for himself and a tent mate.

Having worked with Jock before, I made a point of telling our three colleagues Steve, Rob and Paul not to let him near the kitchen of the house that serves as our Base Camp HQ. Needless to say, in the end it was my fault. I had made a sandwich and was sitting eating it whilst reading a book. Steve and Rob were out walking on the ice and Paul was updating the website in another room.

The next moment the fire alarm went off and I looked round only to find Jock with a pan of sausages engulfed in smoke in the kitchen. As a former London firefighter I used all my years of experience and we put the pan outside and opened all the doors and windows which is not really a great deal of fun when it is -30°C outside. The results of Jock's handiwork (which was subsequently eaten) can be seen in the accompanying photograph.

Burnt Sausages
Burnt Sausages

Simon Marshall
14 April 2022

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