It has been some time since I posted on RIB.net although as you will see from my profile I did actually join up many many years ago and go back with Mr Kennett some time. In the early years of RIB.net one of the things that inspired me were the really excellent postings on the RB4 (Round Britain in 4m (or so) RIBs) - (www.rib.net/forum/showthread.php?t=253&highlight=rb4
). It was this that persuaded me that it would be fun to write up my present trip as part of the Great British RIB Rally 2010. Whilst my postings will never match the RB4 ones in either volume or quality I hope that they prove of interest and inspire others to commit to a challenging RIB cruise or two.
Back in 2008 I took a friend down to Scorpion to meet Patrick Byrne who had just bought the business from Graham Jelly. Andrew was quickly smitten and committed to buy a 8.5m diesel inboard. This was quickly stretched to 9.25m to accommodate the first in-console toilet (yes!) fitted in a non cabin Scorpion. (The ladies of the family weren’t keen on hanging over the side in Studland Bay!). And so over a series of months ‘Evolution’ was specced, paid for and came into being. During regular visits to the factory Patrick floated the idea of a Round Britain rally and before we knew it we were one of the first boats signed up. The appeal came both from the route (round the top of Scotland and outside of Ireland) and also that the event was not to be a race. Patrick wanted to position the event as a group of like minded individuals undertaking what for many would be a once in a lifetime experience without the pressure of racing. For me I have no interest in blatting around at top speed hoping my back holds out so a rally seemed perfect.
Like anything in life you commit to, the event seems to happen upon you rather more quickly than seems right and the rally was no exception (weddings seem a likely parallel!). I entered 2010 with a reasonable plan to get things together for the rally with Andrew in the 6 weeks running up to the rally. This all went to pot when at short notice I ended up going overseas for 6 weeks arriving back in Poole with only two weeks until the rally left Portland. Andrew rose to the challenge (and I think would agree enjoyed it) and pulled together what we needed with me sauntering in belatedly to claim the glory and run around like a headless chicken getting the bits on my ‘to do list’ together.
The final week had its moments, not least of all when we removed the leg with an engineer as a practice to find that the bellows had gone and we needed to get some major surgery done in a very short period of time. All credit must go to Mike at Purbeck Marine and Gareth at Marinautic for their sterling work in getting us back up and running with a day to spare.
Whilst the rationale for the rally for us was personal satisfaction Patrick decided early on that it would be fun to have each RIB support a hospice and raise as much money as possible. This seemed a great idea and we initially chose Julia’s House in Poole which is a hospice for kids. When we found out another RIB had chosen the same charity we decide to switch to an equally worthy cause - The Sparkle Appeal at the Victoria Education College in Poole. The Sparkle appeals aims to raise 5 million pounds to finance a new hydrotherapy pool for the severely disabled children that attend the centre both as day pupils and live there full time. We decided that 10,000 pounds would be a challenging but achievable target.
Our desire to achieve this amount was reinforced after a tour of the centre were we met some incredible children and carers. I defy any person/parent to visit and meet children who display such happiness amongst such adversity and to not leave with a tear in their eye.
We would love it if you or anyone you know would contribute via our Just Giving website
(NB: We are funding all expenses personally, all monies raised go directly to the Sparkle Appeal.)
Visit our team website www.ribevolution.com
Track our progress - http://share.findmespot.com/shared/f...IMK0pjQylSe7Ue
The event: Open to RIBs from any manufacturer if over 7.5m and able to cruise at 30 knots. Read about the entrants and event here - www.greatbritishribrally.com
Our RIB: Evolution is a 9.25m Scorpion with a 315Hp Yanmar diesel with a Bravo 3 leg. Bennett Trim Tabs. Kit is as follows: Raymarine C120 Widescreen plus ST60 repeaters linked to a HD Radome. Twin Icom 505s, Cobra Bluetooth telephone handset, Flowscan fuel meter. McMurdo GPS EPIRB, Liferaft, Shock Mitigation Matting, Garmin handheld GPS units, Predator waterproof video. It is also fitted with a ‘Spot’ GPS tracking system.
Personal kit: Musto HPX Drysuits, Baltic Winner LJs, McMurdo PLBs, Icom M71s, Geckos, Nike Airs (!!), Musto/Gill waterproofs + lots of suncream. (Sadly none is sponsered - its not too late!! :-) )