Monte Carlo Rib History
One of the more notable race boats was the first ever rib called "Rocking pneumonia". It was owned by John Caulcutt. It had been designed by Atlantic College in Wales. Arthur Robinson became friendly with a designer called George Marvin. He embraced the rigid bottom inflatable and went on to design the original Avon Searider RIBs; Galt Glass a GRP production company in Cowes, went on to produce the first Avon Seariders. Bembridge outboards started to sell some of the Seariders as rescue boats to local sailing clubs. Club members liked the safety and comfort and started to want the Ribs for leisure. One customer commissioned a 5.4 meter Searider with a new Mercury 6 cylinder 115hp to set the record to ski from IOW to Le Havre. The boat was just controllable and the mono ski record was set.
John Callcutt also took part in endurance racing. He refitted "Rocking Pneumonia" with long range fuel tanks and twin 60HP Mercury outboards to race from the UK to Monaco. The boat did well but unfortunately got crushed between a ship and a sea wall in northern Spain, putting an end to the race. It was repaired and lasted many more years. In 1984 John Caulcutt was asked to put together a small team for the round Britain race sponsored by Heineken beer. Carlsberg had a multi-million budget, Heineken wanted to capture the hearts of the spectators, and be the underdog! They purchased a Fatercraft which just squeezed into the minimum length to be able to race; it was named Thirst Aid! Bembridge Outboards set the boat up with twin hand start 50hp Mercurys the minimum hp required. Heineken followed the boat round the country handing out free beer and balloons to the crew and spectators - the boat made it round intact never finishing last. Carlsberg sunk in the Irish Sea, Job done!