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Old 28 June 2001, 14:31   #1
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Round Britain in Under 5 Mtrs (RB4)

Tomorrow (Friday 29th June) sees the start of the Round Britain in under 5Mtrs. They are due to leave Plymouth at 10:30 am and return a week Sunday.

I will be in contact with one of the entrants and will be posting the events progress on our website, www.ribcraft.co.uk also I believe Rib International will have some daily info on their site. The info should be up from Friday evening with a report of the dayís progress.

Should be a very tough challenge and certainly one to keep an eye on.
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Old 28 June 2001, 15:30   #2
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Dear God, be good to me.
The sea is so wide, my ship so small.

[The prayer of a Breton Fisherman]

Good luck to all involved and whoever your god is, may he/she look after you.
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Old 29 June 2001, 03:03   #3
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I can't help thinking that they are being hopelessly optimistic on this event.

For instance, today's route is Plymouth to Milford Haven leaving late morning. That's something like 170 miles and includes rounding Land's End and a long bumpy crossing of the Bristol Channel. The weather forecast for Lundy (which includes the Bristol Channel) is Southwest 4 or 5, occasionally 6. They'll be very lucky to complete this in under 12 hours, to arrive in daylight. I wouldn't be surprised if some crews don't manage to complete the day.

This would be a big enough challenge for a one day event -- but anyone reckon they can keep this pace up for ten days? Remember, it's going to be an absolute minimum of eight hours in a small RIB every day for a week and a half.

Oh yes, and tomorrow's forecast is Southwest to West force 5 or 6 . . .

Keeping my fingers crossed for them

John

PS Just looked at bouyweather.com for the Bristol Channel (51N 5W) and it's predicting 3 metre wave height for this afternoon. Should be interesting!


[This message has been edited by John Kennett (edited 29 June 2001).]
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Old 29 June 2001, 21:51   #4
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I'm not sure there are many boats taking part in this event. The last I heard numbers were well down. The boats should be well kited out though. I did consider my 4mtr RIB for the event, but when HMS sent the essential equipment list I decided it would treble the value of the boat - that is if it managed to stay afloat with the added weight!!
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Old 02 July 2001, 03:37   #5
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It sounds like Friday and Saturday were very tough, with quite a variety of breakdowns and serious repairs required!

Yesterday was better with good conditions in the Irish Sea, but it looks like a Northerly is blowing up for the next day or two.

From what I hear the main fleet is down to five boats, and apparently Hugo Montgomery-Swan (the organiser) has gone home. It sounds like Jan Falkowski is setting the pace now as the most experienced ribster taking part. He normally crews for Alan Priddy, so is well used to endurance ribbing!

One of the small RIBs is following on behind having spent a day in Milford Haven getting a new engine fitted. They are being supported by a Scorpion Cabin RIB and hope to catch up with the rest of the fleet in the next couple of days. Rumour has it that a number of the small RIBs that couldn't keep up have been trailed north to rejoin the fleet.

John

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Old 02 July 2001, 08:10   #6
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Site updates:

RIB International have now started posting brief updates at http://ribmagazine.com/rb4.htm

Jason at Ribcraft is also posting updates at http://ribcraft.co.uk/Daily%20Update%20290601%20.html (scroll down for the latest news)

The Marinetrack system has failed completely, and just gives an error message.

John

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Old 02 July 2001, 18:10   #7
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While I have the greatest admiration for any one that attepmts a circumnavigation of Britain, I feel that this event is going to do more damage to the RIB Industry than good!
It has taken part with no real planning and infurstructure and should have aborted when Hugo went home.This circumnavigation is possible but is very much weather dependant.
I am consitantly reminded that on the RB 1999
Team Rib International with two others elected to stay in Grimsby because they thought the weather was too bad, everyone else left for Ramsgate! If the low hits the high that is forming on the east coast the organisers will need more than divine intervention to help them on this one!
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Old 03 July 2001, 13:21   #8
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The only latest news Iíve heard is that 7 boats left Scrabster for Berrick this morning. Quite an achievement what they have done so far, Cant have been easy considering the weather on the first few days. The minute I hear anything I will post it on our Website www.ribcraft.co.uk. To Quash the Rumor, the only boat that was towed to catch up was Avon Seal, who has subsequently retired.

Jason

P.S. John you were dead right about Marine Track, about as much use as an Ashtray on a Motorbike!!
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Old 04 July 2001, 07:20   #9
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They are doing really well to have got this far -- the crews must be absolutely exhausted with the amount of time they have been spending at sea each day!

As they come down the east coast the wind isn't in their favour, but at least it's not blowing a gale. The wind is forecast to be east or southeast 3 or 4, backing northeast 3 or 4 later which will help. The sea state is forecast as slight.

More information is now being posted on the RIB International site and I hear that Hugo M-S has now rejoined the fleet.

John

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Old 04 July 2001, 11:49   #10
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Sounds like a grueling run so far, but the crews are up for the task. A seabird in the face has got to hurt, ouch. I wish them all the best.
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Old 04 July 2001, 16:43   #11
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An update from Team Spirit, RB4 entrant!!

Posted from the Kimberley House Hotel, the finest hotel in Whitby!

Team Spirit (4.8M Ribcraft) and support boat Cyanide (9.5m Scorpion) caught up with the Rb4 Fleet this evening in Whitby! We are tanned and tired but jubilant. Spirits are high!

As John posted earlier, Spirit suffered an engine bracket failure halfway across the Bristol Channel on the first day, which resulted in a LONG tow into Milford Haven, which we reached at 3.00AM! Through sterling efforts by our team leader Peter, and the local Yamaha dealer by the end of the next day we had a new engine bolted onto the boat and were ready for the off once again.

Sunday we left Milford Haven at 8.00AM for an absolutely glorious run via Anglesey for a refueling stop at Port St Mary IOM. From there we headed for Northern Ireland and an overnight at Bangor Marina.

Monday saw a run from Bangor through to Kyle of Lochalsh in mill pond conditions. A particular highlight was an unexpected call from Nichol, a Ribster from the Isle of Islay who met up with us in the Sound of Islay. Nichol, the sample of local produce you left with us was very much appreciated! After a refuelling stop in Oban we reached Kyle at around 9.00AM, weary but happy!

Yesterday was stunning. Leaving Kyle at 8ish we ran again across smooth seas around Cape Wrath. Awesome is the word! A pit stop for fuel at Scrabster and on around Duncansby head. The feeling of elation having turned the corner cannot be described! Last night we fetched up in Peterhead.

Leaving Peterhead this morning in dense fog, and lumpy seas we've had a hard passage south. However by the Farne Islands the mist had cleared the seas were moderating and the sun was out! We arrived in Whitby at 8pm to find the rest of the fleet (that we were a day behind) here also.

I understand they took a real beating running to Berwick on Tweed yesterday so elected for a short leg today.

There appear to be 6 RB4 boats here in Whitby. One was last seen in Peterhead and via VHF we heard had run out of fuel near the Farne Islands and was being supplied some fuel by a Rig support vessel. Our thoughts are with these guys tonight as they have built their own RIB especially for this event and are VERY dedicated.

Anyway, its late and fish and chips beckon. If the weather holds up confidence is high we'll make it.

We've not seen much of the organisation or any lack of it so far, running a day behind. All I can say is that Team Spirit's organisation is supberb and that we are all enjoying the experience of a lifetime!

More when we get back, wish us luck!

Alan.

(Asst Coxn, Part time Navigator, Chief Cook and Bottle washer for Cyanide, support RIB to Team Spirit!)
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Old 09 July 2001, 03:29   #12
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Well they did it!

1700 Miles, 10 days in boats under 5 meters of length, quite an achievement for all concerned. About 9 boats completed the full distance. The crews looked tired and sun burnt but triumphant that they have completed what must have been a grueling ten days. Congratulations to all concerned.
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Old 09 July 2001, 05:22   #13
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I'll second that -- a fantastic demonstration of "true grit"!

Well done to everyone who went round, and our thoughts are with Brian Elliott, who apparently sustained the most severe injury of the week with a badly broken arm.

Extreme RIB cruising has its hazards, but they pale into insignificance compared with finding the light switch in the toilet when it's dark

John

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Old 09 July 2001, 08:37   #14
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Three cheers for a job well done to all involved for this amazing run. I hope the crews will write up their stories for all to read soon.
Is there news on the Gannet's condition?
And thanks to everyone for keeping the updates posted on all the various links...it was fun being able to keep up on the news, here in the USA.
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Old 09 July 2001, 14:56   #15
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'Extreme RIB cruising has its hazards, but they pale into insignificance compared with finding the light switch in the toilet when it's dark.
or...
finding furniture in the dark with your shins!
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Old 09 July 2001, 16:38   #16
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WE DID IT!

(Well actually they did it, and I did it in comfort!)

7 RB4 RIBS arrived back at Plymouth yesterday evening, tired, tanned and jubilant. An incredibly achievement with the right combination of determination, skill, sometimes favourable conditions and a hefty slice of luck.

Still too knackered to post much but plan to write a complete feature on our experiences which I'll let John put up if he wants to. (& will be in RIBLINES for all you BIBOA members.)

As one of those who was sceptical that this could be done safely prior to the event (to the extent that I did the circumnavigation in a RIB twice the size of the RB4 competitors!) I think they did Bloody well! And I also think kudos needs to go to Hugo MS for putting his and RIB International's reputation (such as it is!) on the line in staging this event. If it had all gone pear shaped it is his reputation that would have been the most tarnished.

Team Spirit, had a fantastic time and we are all bowled over to have achieved so much.

As I say, more to come when I have caught up on sleep but a few thoughts.....

....a 50 mile tow across the Bristol Channel was the lowest point for us.

....a 250+ mile run from Kyle of Lochalsh to Peterhead (around Cape Wrath AND Duncansby head) in mill pond conditions was the highlight. AND we got to see Whales jumping in the Moray Firth!

....Its not Ribbing that is dangerous, its darkened hotel toilets! Our hearts went out to Brian who broke his arm in Wells on Sea and had to sit out the trip from there on. We did runahead of the fleet on the last little bit from Salcombe to Plymouth so he could be onboard Cyanide when the fleet crossed the finish line. I'd also like to thank him for showing a huge amount of trust in yours truly in asking me to Coxn Cyanide (his brand new Scorpion) from Wells to Plymouth.

....We met some incredibly helpful people around the coast from the staff at the Yamaha dealer in Milford Haven, to Bob from the Peterhead lifeboat and the incredibly welcoming people of Wells next the Sea.

....Scorpion Cabin RIBS are supberb cruising machines but you can still get absolutely soaked at 14kts punching into a Channel chop!

....All the RB4 entrants are completely mad, but what a glorious madness!

Enough for now my bed calls.

Alan
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Old 10 July 2001, 03:54   #17
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Ships are safe in harbour....

....but thats not what ships are for!!

It's a shame that the feel I get from reading this bulleten board is that there was a fair bit of expectation that the enterprise would flounder and HMS's enterprise would be run onto the rocks. I would encourage all to support and relish marginal ribbing events provided that they are not pattently foolhardy - the sport is about risk not certainty when it comes to off shore cruising.

If I was HMS, I would feel a bit dissapoionted and hard done by by what I read here - thats a shame. I agree with Alan's comments entirely - good for him for having a go and creating an opportunity for us all.

RB4 was about risk taking, adventure, judgement making and luck. It was not a guaranteed success, it was not dependant upon the instigator RIB international - it remained the judgement and decision of each skipper to take their boat to sea or not.

The fact that we got round is to celbrated as a fortunate outcome to what was a serious and precarious undertaking - but thats why we went!

If we wanted guarantees we would have planned for much longer, with better support and taken longer to do the trip in bigger boats.

We chose not to, not becuase of lack of judgement or nievity (spelling?) but rather, because we relished the adventure and challenege

Come on we're all RIBsters!

The sea is a hard teacher, she gives the test first and the lesson after! I wanted the test, I didn't want to be on a packaged holiday with everything safe and certain - there is a difference between risk taking based upon good judgement and misadventure based upon poor judgement, but the line is a fine one.

As has been said in the climbing world "good judgement is the result of experience - however, experience is often the product of poor judgement"! When we are lucky its smiles and tall stories, when we are unlucky it is all to often finger pointing and 'I told you so'

I'd rather risk it and have a try than read about it and wonder if I could have!!

Tigershark completed RB4, was with the main pack all the way round and fully particpated in all aspects of the event and decision making (apart from Jan's choice of wardrobe!)

HMS was quite right to leave the event when he did for reasons beyond his control and we were all pleased to see him back at Berwick.

But for me the event was encapsulated and embodied by Jan himself - fiercely independant, tough, compact, a bit on the rough side and with little chance of success (if you know what I mean!).

A sense of humour and a pocket full of good luck helped by Jan's leadership got the fleet round in good cheer - thanks

Well done to all and a big thanks to all supporters.

More to follow as we pick through the bones of it.


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Old 10 July 2001, 09:16   #18
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Hi Hugo

Thanks for joining the discussion!

It's good to hear your view as organiser, and it's great to hear that everything went so well for you all.

A couple of your points are rather vague, so perhaps you could expand on them for us all?

Quote:
As event organiser of RB4 I would like to say a few brief words in response to many of the comments posted on this site concerning the event. Firstly, on returning from sea, I wish to say how saddened I was to discover how key people who I have always believed to be allies and friends have proved themselves to be anything but.
Who are these key people?

Quote:
On the contrary, some have promoted false stories in order it seems to smeer the good name of the event. Perhaps this has been fuelled by jealousy?
Are you saying that messages posted here are untrue? If so, please let us know what it is you disagree with so we can put the record straight. Jealous of what, by the way?

I make no secret that I thought that success was unlikely. This was a very widely view amongst a lot of seasoned ribsters I spoke to. So what? The doubters were proved wrong this time, and I can't see that anyone has said anything here that is worth getting upset about.

Once again (for the record!), congratulations to everyone for surviving what must have been a very tough ten days.

John

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Old 10 July 2001, 18:08   #19
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Dear all,

As event organiser of RB4 I would like to say a few brief words in response to many of the comments posted on this site concerning the event. Firstly, on returning from sea, I wish to say how saddened I was to discover how key people who I have always believed to be allies and friends have proved themselves to be anything but.

On the contrary, some have promoted false stories in order it seems to smeer the good name of the event. Perhaps this has been fuelled by jealousy?

The event was a result of a years planning and six months intense preparation. It relied upon the expertise and good nature of many people and I am truly grateful to all those who played a part, such as our diligent safety committee, RB4 agents, our Event Captain, our superb 24 hour land support, our event office, the sponsors and of course, the crews themselves who put their confidence in us and their remarkable RIBs.

It is they who demonstrated by actions rather than words, the true spirit of Ribbing. What these crews achieved was most excellent. Nonetheless, it must be remembered what was achieved was NOT the impossible, all crews suffered a genuine mix of weather, trials and tribulations, but all returned safely and happily in time for work Monday morning! The only reason for two boats retiring was gear failure. Success was the result of thorough planning, crew screening, good safety cover and tip top seamanship.

If you wish to read the truthful account of each days events, then log on to the RIB International website. We intend to publish the full story in the Sept/Oct issue.

At RIB International we truly believe in these boats and their tremendous capabilities and will continue to lead the field in promoting safe sport and offshore adventure...stay tuned....

Hugo Montgomery-Swan
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Old 11 July 2001, 08:58   #20
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One could ask if the fact that there were 'support boats' and other back-ups diminished the achievement. One could say that the statement 'HMS has gone home' was true in fact but mean in spirit. But where would it get us? The technology and environment change but human nature remains the same. Envy, domination, power, success are key factors in the male psyche. If the people who took part enjoyed it, well good for them. It proves nothing that they went sunwise around britain in a rib except that they are human. And John Kennett in my opinion is a very knowledgeable man.
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