Rigid Inflatable Boats : RIBS and Inflatables
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Circumnavigation of Anglesey
by Ian Greenwood
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Preparing to Go!

Anglesey RIB World Record
During a night exercise on November 5th 2005, I got to wondering what the recognised record was for circumnavigating Anglesey. During the following week I searched the internet with no result so contacted the RYA to ask if they could inform me what the record was. The answer was surprising, there isn’t one.

That was it. I decided I was going to set the record for two reasons. First of all a record has to be set for it to be broken and secondly to increase the profile of North Wales boating venues and activities. The planning started. I contacted a few people in the boating world who I knew could keep the plan quiet. This led to me being put in touch with others who had this type of experience which proved invaluable.

The RYA was very helpful and provided all the documentation and literature I needed, once I had read through all of this I started to realise the size of the task I had embarked on, not a small one!



The Planning
All sailing clubs and Training Centres had to be informed of the plan and they, without exception, were very supportive, in fact Plas Menai (North Wales National Water Sport Centre) informed me they would get all their courses off the water on whichever day we went to allow a clean run. They did and for this we were extremely grateful. The maritime officer for Anglesey and the Caernarfon Harbour Master were contacted as there are two areas of speed restrictions along the Menai Straits and concessions had to be obtained to exceed these. These were given once all plots, event documentation and risk assessments had been submitted. Original concessions were up to the end of 2006. However, due to the constant wind over November, which I had planned the event, and again over December, an extension was requested and granted until the end of February 2007.

The rules laid out for future attempts are now available from HotRIBS.Com, BIBOA and the RYA. The main one will involve obtaining these concessions and as the Straits are busy from March to October with leisure boating, it will be a winter event I am sure.

Many thanks to the event Sponsors for their support throughout the planning and execution of the event.

Suzuki Marine GB: www.suzuki-marine.co.uk
Gecko Headgear: www.geckoheadgear.co.uk
HotRIBS Online Magazine: www.HotRIBS.Com
Llyn.info: www.llyn.info
Harlech Food Service: www.harlech.co.uk
Dickies International: www.dickies.co.uk


Crossing the Start Line


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Phew! We Finished.
1h 35m 10s

Flying the Flag

The Trophy


The Day Arrives:
After a year of planning and then 3 months of strong winds, we managed to set a GO date for the Circumnavigation of Anglesey record for Sunday February 4th 2007.
We departed Beaumaris Pier at 10:30, onboard ‘Black Jack’ a 7.5m Prosport RIB fitted with a 250hp Suzuki 4 stroke, with two RYA timekeepers clocking us off. The BBC had a film cameraman and the Daily Post had a stills photographer onboard another RIB just off the start/finish line.

The run through the Menai Straits was flat calm water and hardly any other craft out. This allowed us 47 knots for the full length, even through the Swellies. This was an experience! After leaving the Straits at Caernarfon Bar we ran up the west coast of the island. South Stack was clear and visible but as we approached Holyhead the fog loomed ahead of us. The visibility in these fog banks was good so we had no reduction in speed. Next point was Skerries Lighthouse, this was turned and then the fun began. All across the top of Anglesey was rough. Not the roughest seas we get, but sufficient to slow us down to 37 knots. This had an impact on the overall time.

Once approaching Puffin Island we could open up again and entered the Straits at wide open throttle. The run past Beaumaris Pier was great fun and a great relief as my biggest concern on the day was getting all the way around. What a waste of a year of planning and all the spectators time if we didn’t make it! We had about 80 spectators on the end of Beaumaris Pier for our return. I must thank them all for their time in coming along to support the event. I know some had travelled from Manchester, Stockport, Liverpool and other parts of Wales.

So there it is! 1 hour, 35 minutes and 10 seconds, 68nm distance travelled which would be reduced with calm sea and no fog. But it's up there now for others to go for. 'Black Jack' isn’t the fastest boat in the world, but this record isn’t just about speed. The planning is more important than putting the boat in the water, so if you fancy a go, speak to HotRIBS.Com as the magnificent trophy they supplied is housed within the clubhouse of the Royal Anglesey Yacht Club and they must be involved in all attempts to beat me from the early stages.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Kevin Goulding and Mike Deacon for their support, publicity, sponsorship, help and advice they have given me. This was my first record attempt; somehow I don’t think it will be my last.

My biggest thanks of all must go to these two people. David Manning (Navigator) who was as delighted as me that a record was set and who helped enormously throughout and Debbie, my wife, who had to put up with my blinkered vision and then three months of frustration waiting for the weather to break.

I have the bug now, there are various ideas buzzing round in my head for future records. Oh and bigger and faster boats!

Ian Greenwood (Helm)
Owner/Operator 'Black Jack' of : PeninsularRibs.Com
February 2007

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