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Old 11 September 2012, 03:40   #1
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Remembering rib racing - the early years

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Had the same problem in the 1992 race, got down to the end of Loch Ness and no finishing line, oops
what rib did you have then are you still ribbing?
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Old 11 September 2012, 07:17   #2
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what rib did you have then are you still ribbing?
We did the 1992 race in a 5.2m Osprey sparrowhawk with a 60hp Mercury. By far the smallest rib that year not only did we win class A but the crew received another award for all the help they gave the other teams. I took 3 aircraft technicians and full toolboxes with us just in case. We also had a minibus and SWB landrover so always seemed to be towing other peoples trailers around for them.

The leg across the top of Scotland was desperate with F5-6 from the East and we were going East so down to 9 knots most of the time, remember we were only 5.2m so normally tail end charlie as the rest of the fleet disappeared into the distance. When we reached Scrabster we put 30 gallons into a 30 gallon tank

http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....5&d=1242545522
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Old 11 September 2012, 08:08   #3
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Bit of a thread drift so pull up a sand bag

There were actually three races in 1992. 3 boats Alan Priddy, Jan F and another probably Jean Paul the Belgium were doing round GB and met us in Scotland. Actually they were sat 100 yards to the West of the Pentland firth wondering what to do about the huge random waves being formed as the North Sea emptied into the Atlantic dropping about 3m in the process. We tipped up and wondered too, so I tapped the driver on the shoulder and said go, one of the others will sort it all out if it goes pear shaped and off we shot. They must have thought we knew what we were doing because they followed us, if only they had known we had never been there before. Once through the race the driver slowed down then asked why there were foot prints on the front of the engine casing. I told him I had been stood on it because the front of the engine was more horzontal than the deck of the rib.

Hugo Mountgomey-Smith and Mike Southward organised the Glasgow to Edinburgh rib race at the same time which joined us at Corpach I think and Michael Alexander and Richard Freer organised the Highlands and Islands Race. Michael and Richard started it all by going around the highlands and Islands in a 4m flatacraft about 89 time with the intention of raising the profile of the highlands and bringing people up to their. Michael was also famous for another adventure, he escaped from Colditz.

He was very please we brought an Army Lynx helicopter along too which drew quite a crowd at lunchtime whilst we passed through the locks at the Western end of Loch Ness.

Pete
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Old 11 September 2012, 08:18   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
We did the 1992 race in a 5.2m Osprey sparrowhawk with a 60hp Mercury. By far the smallest rib that year not only did we win class A but the crew received another award for all the help they gave the other teams. I took 3 aircraft technicians and full toolboxes with us just in case. We also had a minibus and SWB landrover so always seemed to be towing other peoples trailers around for them.

The leg across the top of Scotland was desperate with F5-6 from the East and we were going East so down to 9 knots most of the time, remember we were only 5.2m so normally tail end charlie as the rest of the fleet disappeared into the distance. When we reached Scrabster we put 30 gallons into a 30 gallon tank

http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....5&d=1242545522
remember only to well we stopped at cape wrath to tow a Osprey 7.25
untill they repaired their fault and like you were at back of fleet with just fumes to get in scrabster one engine had already run dry
we should do it again
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Old 11 September 2012, 09:18   #5
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Cracking thread fellas, keep it up It's like reading Boys Own
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Old 11 September 2012, 09:34   #6
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Originally Posted by dougcrock View Post
remember only to well we stopped at cape wrath to tow a Osprey 7.25
untill they repaired their fault and like you were at back of fleet with just fumes to get in scrabster one engine had already run dry
we should do it again
Yes you went past us at about 10 knots a couple of miles to the East of Cape Wrath and took the inside passage along the headlands. We couldn't keep up with you which was infurating as you were towing but still going faster than us so we took a straight line to Scrabster. Actually we should have followed you into the quieter waters even if the route was longer. Seem to remember the XR24 you towed was orange and white but it was a awful long time ago.

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Old 11 September 2012, 09:49   #7
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yes with a mercury 200 xr and a delaminating hull
ps sorry about hi jacking thread with old memories
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Old 11 September 2012, 09:50   #8
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Cracking thread fellas, keep it up It's like reading Boys Own
We should ask Barry how he towed about 6 tonnes of 30ft twin diesel inboard rib up Birdlip Hill, nr Gloucester with a very early 3.5 Range Rover in 1993

It was glowing a bit when it later arrived at Hamble Point.

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Old 11 September 2012, 09:54   #9
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Cracking thread fellas, keep it up It's like reading Boys Own
you should hear the stories after a beer or two the wave get bigger
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Old 11 September 2012, 10:36   #10
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you should hear the stories after a beer or two the wave get bigger
There was also the incident with the hotel dining room table in Ullapool which ended up on board a rib, belonging to Charles Dyas called Delta Dawn I think.

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Old 12 September 2012, 04:11   #11
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wasnt me
did you finish in inverness we started in helensburgh and finished inverness we thought the waves out from scrabster was an island cliff face we ran inshore in about 6' flat calm
one team (dave charrington osprey twin 200?) flipped and everyone overboard and no kill switch rib racing round in circles at 30+knots i think charles dyas put a man aboard
all good fun H&S would put a stop to that now
checked my records 1991 was won by paul emms & gordon turner in a phantom with taper tubes (unheard of then and subject to protest it that wasnt a rib) with merc 200xr it had a aircraft cockpit screen? and the carson was second i believe
are you still ribbing
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Old 12 September 2012, 06:00   #12
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Oh yes I remember Dave Charrington and the then huge 8.2m Osprey Falcon with 2 x Yam 200s, quite simply a superb rib. He owned a series of Mercedes garages I think so wasnít short of a bob or two. It was his birthday whilst we were in Scotland if I remember correctly so he picked up the hotel bar tab for all the racers one night, something in the region of £10k

One of the other Osprey Ribs a XR20 blew a power head early on during the week. Mike Armitage had a spare power head in Wigan but no way of getting it up to the Highlands in a sensible time. Dave stepped forward and asked Mike to get it to Blackpool airport were Dave had his pilot fly the thing up to the highlands during the day . I towed the broken XR20 with the SWB landie from Kyle to Ullapool and the lads drove my rib during the race that day. They then fitted the power head on the jetty that evening.

Yes Charles Dyas rescued his rib, donít think it turned over just chucked then out of the boat and then carried on towards Iceland at 35 knots. Charles jumped on board and pulled the kill switches which they hadnít been wearing. We arrived off Dunnet Head just after all the fun unfortunately, not that we could have caught the big Osprey anyway.

Dave however had a spot of bother with Customs and Excise a couple of years later when they found he and his brother had a large quantity of diamonds on board the Osprey after coming back from Amsterdam, oops . Now we know why the boat had 4 huge fuel tanks on board. I sat waiting for him to fill it up in the Shell garage in Kyle. Two nozzles half an hour and £500 later (in 1992) he was finished. The fuel attendant them bubbled him to the police for carrying more than was allowed in a trailer, he was only going 500 yards to the slipway.

We finished in Inverness and towed down to Edinburgh, we had done enough by then and didnít want to push our luck.

Switched to sailing a couple of years ago and sold firstly Old Spice and then the Tohatsu 6.6m rib and finally the disco. Itís all a bit more relaxing having a loo, cooker and beds on board.

Still see Mark Bleaker who works in Southampton occasionally, he had the big Flatacraft Miami Vice with a Yamaha 260hp V8 inboard petrol engine, was a quick boat and I think he won one of the races, but we were young and it didnít hurt then.

Pete
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Old 12 September 2012, 07:05   #13
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mark and miami vice won the 1992 years event
mike southward and i went on to organise the Scotrib races and then rib cruises which i still do
i bought a yacht (by christ its slow) this year but not sold rib yet just need large davits
if youre in scotland i'll buy you a drink
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Old 12 September 2012, 09:31   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougcrock
yes with a mercury 200 xr and a delaminating hull
ps sorry about hi jacking thread with old memories
Isn't that the image used on the Osprey brochure?

As the old photos are coming out, anyone got photos of John Harveys OspreyXR24 race no 16. ?
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Old 12 September 2012, 09:45   #15
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Isn't that the image used on the Osprey brochure? ?
Probably, the XR range was first displayed at the Feb 1992 Caravan and Boat Show in Glasgow, so there wouldn't have been many XRs around in Jun 92. The boat had been built in such a rush the GRP was smoking as it cured in the mould and why subsequently the gelcoat started to peel off. Mike Armitage quite rightly hit the roof, firstly Vector had built a boat without his knowledge purporting to be an Osprey and secondly the whole recently launched range could be marred by the sight of a badly built boat. It disappeared under a tarp rather quickly.

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As the old photos are coming out, anyone got photos of John Harveys OspreyXR24 race no 16. ?
That was his later boat, his first race boat was a large red Tornado about 7m with firstly 2 x 100 mercs, then a single 200 hp merc which was swopped across to the XR24 I think, however, the Tornado was much too heavy for racing hence the swop to the XR24 which was built to take 500kgs very quickly across water.

The XR24s would later become the rib of choice for smuggling funny cigarettes across the straights of Gibraltar. Paul Lemmer said sorry to me and explained I had just been out bid by a cash buyer from Gib when I was looking at one XR24 he had for sale but there wasn't much I could do to compete with someone with a carrier bag full of used notes
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Old 12 September 2012, 11:27   #16
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Talking of Paul Lemmer, those new to Ribbing may not be aware but he is a legend in his own lunchtime. Best known for writing articles for rib magazines and running Blue Water Maritime (BWM) 1980 - 1998.

He is a really nice chap and I have had the pleasure of many long chats with him over the years. Just one thing though don't let him drive your rib, at all, under any circumstances. He has left a trail of devastation of ribs and equipment that would equal the Germans retreat from Moscow during WW2

I first met him about 11am on 2 June 1992 some 30 miles short of Cape Wrath and about a mile offshore. He was stopped and busy tying 2 new 50hp mariner outboards to the rib console with some rope. As we approached we could see why, the whole transom had snapped were it joined the hull. The only thing stopping the two new engines from taking a dive to the bottom of the North Atlantic were the tubes Pauls co-pilot looked worried, he was the sales manager for Barrus, so guess the engines were on loan. Whilst two 50hp engines doesn't sound much today, in 1992 the 5.5m rib it was a huge weight for a rib transom. The manufacturers were still learning their craft and then testing boats through racing.

We asked if there was anything we could do but he thanked us for stopping but said no. Still we followed him into a nearby cove and watched him beach the boat on a sand bank. I looked at the towering cliffs behind the beach, there wasn't even a foot path let alone a road and probably no one else in 30 miles. He was literally stuck in one of the remotest place in Europe. He asked if we could inform race control when we finished and then insisted we carry on.

Six hours later we arrived exhausted in Scrabster to be met by Michael Alexander who despite probably being over 70 was very spritely. We told him about Paul on board No 38 and showed him were we had left him, only for Michael to tell us boat no 38 had come in an hour ago. Astonished I said it couldn't have there was no way that rib could have done another 80 miles and we certainly hadn't seen it pass us, but Michael insisted and wandered off. He came back hour later, turns out there were two ribs with No 38

Paul turned up later with the rib on a trailer, though how I still don't know. Despite the manufacturers competing against each other there was a real spirit of cooperation. The Sea Scouts team arranged for the local Scrabster troop to open their drill hall and the broken BWM wheeled in. Mike and Ralph who build the Osprey ribs set to work with the GRP. Someone found a welder and mysteriously two pieces of box section steel and two large plates appeared. I did wonder if someone had just lost part of a fence post Late into the night they worked and at dawn with the new GRP set around the steels the engines were bolted back on and the boat launched ready for the 10am start and the trip through the Pentland Firth.

Pete
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Old 12 September 2012, 13:20   #17
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Talking of Paul Lemmer, those new to Ribbing may not be aware but he is a legend in his own lunchtime.
Indeed. I bumped into him in a pub (well after closing ) not so very long ago. He's quite a character! Good craic and a true RIB man.

We've all broken the odd RIB...
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Old 12 September 2012, 13:26   #18
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Old 12 September 2012, 16:03   #19
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Talking of Paul Lemmer, those new to Ribbing may not be aware but he is a legend in his own lunchtime.
Wherever he is, there'll be a smell of wax.
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Old 12 September 2012, 16:47   #20
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Great read Pete; got any more?
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