Maryslim goes non-stop around Rockall

Maryslim - the 72ft wave piercer - sets a potential record by going non-stop from Portland to Rockall and back

At 16:24 on Monday 16 June Maryslim passed Portland Bill at 30 knots. Nothing unusual about this, you might say, as Maryslim – the 72ft wave piercier owned by Richard and Mary Reddyhoff – lives in Portland Marina and these waters are her local stomping ground.

What is unusual is the fact that she had just returned from a 1,422-mile, 53-hour non-stop trip from Portland to Rockall and back.

The mission was to take one boat, with one team and with one tank of fuel to Rockall and back from Portland Bill, setting a record, which Richard believes is yet to be achieved – though this is pending RYA confirmation.

Rockall, once described as “the most isolated speck of rock, surrounded by water, on the surface of the Earth”, is a lump of granite located 267 miles from the northwest of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean. Lord Kennet said of it: “There can be no place more desolate, despairing and awful.”

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It’s not a top holiday destination, then, which is why Richard decided to make his trip a non-stop fly by.

The assembled crew included engineer Ed Gulliver, photographer Mike Townshend, powerboat champion Jan Falkowski and explorer Seb Coulthard. A finer team to take on a challenge such as this you could not wish to assemble.

Finding a weather window seemed to be the hardest part of the challenge, the fact that the team had tried to complete the challenge in 2012 speaks volumes of how treacherous Rockall can be.

Anyway, this year a weather window appeared and remained jammed open for the duration.

Quoting from the article Richard has written for an upcoming issue of MBY, he says: “The trip went as well as we could have expected, with individual food portions being popped into the microwave on a regular basis, fuel transfers from supplementary tanks to the main tank and tracking reports by Yellowbrick pinging our progress back to the real world.

“The Caterpillar engine was a joy, purring away in the engine room and giving great confidence to the team, and the only real cause for concern was rounding Rockall itself because of the unknown accuracy of the available charts in this area.”

Rockall may not have been at its miserable, spume-splattered worst but this is still a mighty achievement from the crew and their incredible boat. Read the full feature in a future issue of Motor Boat & Yachting.

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