Rough weather and tough competition greeted 18 RIBs at the inaugural Stockdale Scottish Grand Prix held at the weekend

The inaugural Stockdale Scottish Grand Prix held at the weekend attracted 18 RIBs from all over England to Kip Marina, at Inverkip on the Firth of Clyde. Despite forecasts of heavy seas and force 11 winds, the gods were kind to the race committee, allowing Chris Strickland and Annie Beakhust to set Rough Weather Course 1 over 53 nautical miles.

Saturday during the day was reserved for Scrutineering and Testing and was a good for many of the local boat owners to have a close look at the amazing array of racing RIBs. Boats from Mark Pascoe, Revenger and Scorpion were all in evidence, with a smattering of more exotic machinery thrown in. Star of the show, on land anyway, was Drew Langdon’s Buzzi Bullet, a brand new outboard powered flying machine, looking stunning in its all grey livery. Drew is looking forward to hotting things up a little once he gets to grips with his new steed.

In moderate to rough conditions the 15 starters headed south, on lap one, down the Skelmorlie shore, past Largs and round The Isle of Cumbrae, back up to Dunoon and through the finish line at Kip Marina. The second lap on the same track proved a lot more testing with the seas building and winds approaching 30kts. The competitors in all classes were literally flying, with Jackie Hunt reporting a top speed during the downhill section of 84 mph! The Clyde’s steep short sea made the going to Largs hard work and the run up to Dunoon a real test of skill. The RIBs all made short work of the testing conditions and it was a shame that the numbers of spectators was very limited due to the conditions. An F1 RIB at full tilt in big seas is really something to behold.

Back in the Marina the competitors hailed the event a great success, not in any small part aided by a wild Scottish Night the previous evening, at the marina’s Chartroom Bar/ Restaurant. The atmosphere was professional and friendly and with full pit and craning facilities provided by Kip Marina and superb organisation laid on by the committee and helpers of the British Inflatable Boat Owners Association. A large contingent of Scottish based RIBS turned out to help as safety and support boats and hopefully next year will see some Scottish boats competing.