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Old 02 August 2001, 11:57   #11
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Alan,

Southern Ireland could be fun. I'm tied up the second week in Sept - I will have a word with the others and get back to you.
They are currently enjoying a drink in Port St Mary with the adventurers from the 5 Nations Challenge.
I don't know how many boats are taking part, but they apparently pulled in to PSM around 4 this afternoon en route to Bangor (Wales) from Donaghadee.

Allen
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Old 02 August 2001, 19:58   #12
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I believe that using a buddy system is a prequisite on any large cruise - be it RB4 or cross channel, round the headland etc. Even if you are part of a larger group, different boats will make different speeds (due to hull design, horsepower or just the confidence/experience of the crew!) so a fleet will seperate. The key thing is to buddy with a boat of similar performance so that you are running at the same speed. As John says you don't neccessarily need to run side by side all the time but keep in visual contact and maybe have a regular radio "check in" that all is OK. And when your buddy stops you stop.

John put his finger on the issue of when one person stops everybody tends to stop in a big fleet. I'm sure Vernon will concur that this definately happened on RB4!

On the subject of support boats for an RB4 type event I believe that it is utter madness to run an event like this without some larger RIBS as support craft. As I have said in my account one small RIB cannot offer more than a dire emergency "take the crew off" type of response to a distress situation and may well put itself at risk in the process. A larger RIB can more readily tow a boat with engine failure, can take off injured crew for a more comfortable ride and provide mechanical assistance with a low risk of placing itself or its crew into danger.

RB4 effectively had only one support boat for the majority of the trip. The guys on Yes Dear did a stirling job but even they weren't without problems as towards the end of the trip they had to run flat out to overcome fuel starvation problems. The need to run at 30kts when the boats you are escorting average 20kts makes life interesting I'd have thought!

Not every RB4 team was fortunate enough to have a chap like Brian Elliot to provide what was frankly probably the ultimate in support RIBs! BUT, It was not beyond the wit of the organisers to encourage other owners of larger RIBS to join the event. This needed to be a positive - please join us and participate in the challenge, enjoy the camaraderie etc etc vein as opposed to the "your welcome to come if you want but we expect you to pay the same entry fee and of course provide search and rescue services as required!" Personally I think Brian and Carl deserved to be PAID for their participation rather than being charged for the priviledge!
(Although neither was looking for this of course.) Anyway I'll get off my soapbox now before I offend someone!

RB4 had 9 entrants of which 7 finished with two support boats. I believe the event really needed 3, possibly 4 support RIBS to provide a reasonable level of safety cover. In the event, 2 (and 1 for most of the time) was enough - which was largely due to calm weather and luck! And of course the professionalism and commitment of the RB4 entrants themselves!

Coastguard involvement. Weeellll I don't know for sure but I rather suspect that NO daily passage plans were filed by the event as a whole with the coastguard. Can't confirm this for sure as for most of the time we weren't running with the fleet. It is an impression I get both from Vernon's comments and my own conversation with Yarmouth Coastguard whilst filing Spirit/Cyanides flightplan from Wells to Ramsgate!

Ok, I've probably pissed enough people off now so I'm going to shut up and let others have a say.

Cheers,
Alan

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Old 03 August 2001, 04:52   #13
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If it's a race, then it's a race. Surely you go it alone with yourself and your vessel as well equipped as possible/feasible/necessary for independence?

If it's a cruise in company then you all stick together and help each other/strength in numbers or whatever.

Before going RB or cross channel you will need a degree of ability which only comes with time and experience.

D
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Old 04 August 2001, 19:47   #14
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I very much welcome this forum as an opportunity for all of us to learn from the event. My comments, in no particular order are;
1. Always call the coastguard when setting out AND arriving. Cummon, you know it makes sense. It also makes me feel much easier that a group of professionals are at least partly in the picture if something goes wrong. Imagine your embarrassment, or worse, if something went wrong, got worse because of lateness in help arriving and then admitting that you didn’t tell anyone of your plans. You would deserve a smack round the back of the head wouldn’t you?
2. Totally understand the frustration of moving at the speed of the slowest guy in a pack. Would recommend you pick a buddy boat and people that you can empathise with, and then pair with them.
3. Agree with Alan that more safety boats should be available for tough event like RB4. I am SURE that many larger boats would have joined part or the entire event, if they were made to feel more welcome.
4. Skippers MUST be more assertive when attending skippers briefings and at other critical moments. It takes more guts to say “no” than to be swept along with the group. An example was Bangor Challenger taking the very tough decision to return to Newlyn for more fuel. With hindsight had they carried on, we now know, there would have been a serious problem later on that night. So full marks to them.
5. The interesting dichotomy is of course, that despite RB4 being a challenge and not a race, there is nevertheless an enormous pressure on skippers to keep up with the schedule and/or not to be left behind the main group. This is partly balanced by the very fact that it is this pressure which gives the impetus to achieve/succeed/go that extra mile and without which probably many boats would not have gone all the way round.
6. Finally I thought Hugo put a lot on the line. If had been a disaster, he would have been blamed, and this business is his hobby and his profession don’t forget. Many were saying it shouldn’t have been proposed/wasn’t well organised/potentially dangerous etc. Well it did happen, it was successful and I saw a hell of a lot of guts, determination and sheer bloody minded resolve displayed which has made a very positive impression on me. Yes, we were lucky with the weather but in more general terms I have always found the harder you try the luckier you get. I say if it had of gone pear-shaped it would have been OUR fault. Hugo didn’t hold a gun to anybody’s head and force them out to sea did he?
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Old 13 August 2001, 04:30   #15
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Contact details anyone?
I am trying to organise a S. an W. Ireland cruise 2nd week in September and would like to make e-mail contact with:
-any crew member from Yes Dear
-Jan Falkowski
-anyone else who may wish to join in an easygoing, sociable cruise, around this beautiful part of the world
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Old 13 August 2001, 18:28   #16
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Alan, got youre email about this event. A few NI ribs will tow down to SE Ireland and meet you for the run. Keep us posted.
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Old 13 August 2001, 19:02   #17
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Currently without a boat.

But if anyone wants a 'contributing' crew member looking to gain more RIB experience then I'd be very pleased to join the trip.
cjh@hume100.freeserve.co.uk

Chris
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Old 13 August 2001, 19:49   #18
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Brian,

Jan F's details are in the Biboa directory. I'll look them up tonight and email you.

Cheers,
Alan
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Old 14 August 2001, 20:03   #19
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Brian ,

Just back from a week in the UK.

Got your mail re Kinsale based cruise and will be in touch

Best wishes ,

Stuart www.powerboat.org

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Old 15 August 2001, 03:22   #20
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Brian

Can you e-mail me details of your event? I may come over, only may at this stage.

Alan Priddy
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