Rigid Inflatable Boats : RIBS and Inflatables
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Arctic Circle RIB Challenge

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Arctic RIB Challenge

Suzuki Marine UK

The trip will follow the following route:
Day one: 120 miles from Wick in the Scottish Highlands to Lerwick on the Shetland Islands
Day two: 230 miles from Lerwick to Maloy in Norway
Day three: 100 miles from Maloy to Kristiansund in Norway
Day four: 145 miles from Kristiansund to Rorvic in Norway
Day five: 86 miles from Rorvic to Sandnessjoen in Norway
Day six: 86 miles from Sandnessjoen to Rognan in Norway (in the Arctic Circle)

The challenge has strong backing from several high-profile sponsors, including:

  • GORE-TEX® products
  • Humber RIBs
  • Suzuki engines
  • Musto clothing
  • Towergate Mardon
  • Ullman seats
  • Icom UK
  • Lowrance
  • Simrad Yachting
  • SeaSafe life jackets
  • StratumFive
  • Nite watches

Pete Goss and team to take on first ever GORE-TEX® Arctic Challenge in tiny RIBS
KnA TEAM of RIB enthusiasts, including sailing hero Pete Goss, will undertake an intrepid adventure to the Arctic this summer, pushing themselves and their equipment to the limit.

The group of seven men and one woman will take part in the first ever GORE-TEX® Arctic Challenge and travel from Scotland to the Arctic Circle in tiny, six metre, Suzuki powered Humber RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) over the course of six days.

It is the first time the route has been battled in such small RIBS and the team has taken on the challenge in a bid to prove the capability of the modern day RIB.

Speaking at the launch organiser, Hugo Montgomery-Swan, said: “We seek to be modern-day footstep followers of the Vikings, amongst the greatest small-boat navigators to ever traverse the northern seas, as we endeavor in some small way, aboard our little craft, to aspire to their open-boat prowess and spirit of adventure.

“ It is our hope that by using small RIBS, we can show that experiencing fresh horizons and undertaking offshore adventures should not just be a prerogative of owners of much larger craft. By travelling in small boats we will be much more connected with the environment, experiencing the wind in our faces just as those who traversed these seas once did over 1,000 years before.”

Over six days the group will have to battle against all that the North Sea can throw at them. The open vessels will offer little protection from the icy winds as they travel an average 120 miles per day at around 20 knots all the way to the Arctic. Their longest day will see them travel 230 nautical miles in a grueling 11.5 hour stint.

Navigating the way will be offshore RIB adventurer and record holder, Paul Lemmer. He will be joined by; offshore challenge expert, Hugo Montgomery-Swan, quarter master Julian Hutson Saxsby, mechanic and logistics expert Mark Beeley, photographer and blogger Ed Gould, sailor Pete Goss, Gore representative, Andy Warrender and intrepid Telegraph journalist, Bryony Gordon.

For the first time for a challenge of this nature, people at home will be able to keep right up-to-date via onboard tracking technology that will feed to social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook. The crew will feed video, photography and blog updates back from the thick of the action and will be able to answer any questions enthusiasts may have.

The crew will also document its findings of flora, fauna and sea life along the way, reporting information to the Net Gain Marine Conservation Zone Project. The study is actively seeking the alliance of mariners and boat owners operating in the area to assist in the gathering of information in relation to the ecology of the seas.

In a bid to keep the trip as green as possible the RIBs will travel at 20 knots. At this speed it is estimated that the engines will burn no more than about 30 litres per hour, an average of 180 litres of petrol (approx 40 gallons) a day. Similarly, the Suzuki engines have been specifically chosen for their energy efficiency.

Speaking of his involvement in the challenge, Pete Goss said: “My first experience of RIBs was during my time with the Royal Marines and from that moment I was hooked. Having owned a couple of big RIBs for the Team Philips project, I’ve learned how capable these boats can be in testing ship to shore operations and also how much fun they can be of course!

“ What I haven’t had the opportunity of experiencing until now, is their full offshore potential. The thrill of taking two small RIBs over 100 miles offshore is what drew me to the GORE-TEX® Arctic Challenge. It will be testing for sure, but immense fun too, plus the Humber 6m RIBs will make the perfect ‘vehicles’ for exploring the rugged Scottish coastlines, the fjords of Norway and the dramatic cliffs at truly close quarters.”

To find out more about the GORE-TEX® Arctic Challenge and follow the adventure, which will take place between June 27 and July 9, visit the Arctic Challenge updates in our RIB Forum.

June 2011

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Rigid Inflatable Boats : RIBS and Inflatables