Ricky it all started with a couple of Round Scotland events, the first I think was 91 which Diver Magazine kindly called "Wacky Races" and then promptly had to apologise for.
The organisers where Richard Freer and the late Michael Alexander (who was inprisioned in Colditz) http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries...388081,00.html
along with Alan and according to my files Hugo Montgomery-Swan, Tony Lee-Elliott and Mike Southward. Have a lot of time for the last two.
Michael and Richard both in there 70s
at the time had circumnavigated the highland and Islands of Scotland via the Caledonian Canal the year before in a 4m rib without any back up stopping each night as the sun fell. they came up with the idea of an adventurous race with Ribs to bring tourists up to the highlands and raise a bit of publicity. BIBOA was also formed about this time but I don't know who came up with the idea.
Following the success of the 91 race the event was staged again in Jun 92. Two courses were set. One doing the highland and Islands circumnavigation via the canal and some of the larger boats doing Greenock to Edinburgh. Alan also timed his round Great Britian event to co-inside with the race and met us half way through the week, staying with the fleet (and a huge party in Port Edgar Nr Edinburgh) before carrying on South to Portsmouth.
The 91 race had bad weather and a horendous time getting round Ardmurchan but we breezed round at 26 knots. however our time was to come when we hit a F6 all the way from Cape Wrath to Scrabster. Most of us were divers as everyone had dump valves on there dry suits and a few ribs still sporting bottle racks. they ranged from 5 - 7m and engines from 60 hp to 2x200hp. A not so young Charles Dyas (of Delta fame) came along with a superb diesel rib and was the savour of the day when he jumped from his rib into an unmanned rib that had lost its crew but carried on at 35 knots and stopped a disaster happening. the rib was going due North from the top of Scotland at the time.
Following the sucesses in North Scotland and Alans Round GB trip other races including NI, IOM and the solent were run, BIBOA took on a strong committee and organised races and cruises. The club had a strong membership that would go anywhere for a party.
Team spirit was strong but competitors would bend over to help each other. Having left Paul Lemmer and his crew from Barrus alone on a beach on the West Coast of Scotland with no obvious way up the cliffs and no one within 50 miles he appeared in Scrabster later that evening, however the BWM had snapped her transom. Mike Armatage from Osprey and a direct competitor in the rib market asked his fibreglassers Ralph and Mike Williamson to work through the night in a local scouts hut to fix the boat and with the assistance of a local welder fabricated a strong transom brace which was glassed in and by 9am the following morning the boat was back inthe water ready to race. How many of todays racers would do that
Sadly as predicted by Tony Lee-Elliot the rules were changed and the majority of the prizes went to the big boats with big engines and costs. The smaller boats dropped out because we couldn't compete and BIBOA handed over control to the RYA.
I agree with Alan, stuff the RYA, BIBOA should organise it themselves. Start with a small affordable class (90 hp ?) with any sort and size of rib and lets see what designs people come up with without weight or size restrictions. Stuff the need for expensive licences that just lines the RYA pockets and keep the other rules simple. I still have the 92 rules if anyone needs a copy, they worked then for a race through some of the remotest parts of Europe, I am sure they will work for a round the IOW race