Scorpion RIB racer smashes Round Anglesey record

Marc Lyne has etched his name into the record books by setting a new record time for driving round Anglesey in a Scorpion RIB

Powerboat racer and MBY reader Marc Lyne has smashed the record for the fastest circumnavigation of Anglesey in a RIB, shaving almost 15 minutes off the previous fastest time.

On board an 8.25m Scorpion RIB, Marc and his navigator Dean Watson cruised around the Welsh island at an average speed of 47 knots last month (8 February).

Their record time of 1:21:59 was recorded by a timing crew from the RYA, but has yet to be ratified or approved by the Guinness Book of Records.

Ian Greenwood, who set the previous Round Anglesey record in 2007, was on hand to congratulate the new record holders at the finish line.

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The victory champagne tasted extra-sweet for Marc, who spent more than 12 months preparing for this record attempt.

“I was all lined up to do this last year, and I’d paid my £100 admin fee to the RYA, filled out a 30-page risk assessment, but the weather was just terrible,” he told MBY.

“The only months the harbourmaster will allow me to try the record is December, January and February and it quickly became clear that 2013/14 wasn’t going to be possible.”

“I thought that doing this one record would be easy, but bloody hell, the amount of arranging involved! There’s so much to think about.”

However, Marc didn’t give up and spent the rest of last year waiting patiently for the new season, safe in the knowledge that he had the right boat for the job.

Racing pedigree

Ocean Devil is Marc’s personal powerboat and it was built by Scorpion RIBs and Dave Crawford Marine in 2001 with offshore racing specifically in mind.

Marc describes its 315hp Yanmar inboard diesel engine as “bomb-proof”, adding “if you can get fuel to it, it will start.”

He is also particularly fond of the Scorpion hull design: “They’re the Bentleys of the water. They will go through whatever you want to put them through.”

Round Anglesey RIB record Ocean Devil

And he is not alone – both the Round Britain record and the London-Monte Carlo records are held by Scorpion owners.

Understandably fuel consumption is a little on the high side – Ocean Devil gulps down diesel at a rate of 70l/h.

The weather window opens

Even when the weather calmed at the beginning of last month, there were still plenty of obstacles for Marc to clear before he could claim the round Anglesey record.

First and foremost was picking his route, as the variable tides and wind patterns off Anglesey make strategy as important as power.

From the designated start/finish point of Buoy B10 at Beaumaris Pier, Marc opted to take a 68nm anti-clockwise route around the island.

The was the opposite of Ian Greenwood’s strategy, which saw the former record holder encounter strong tidal overfalls on the west coast.

Garmin route Round Anglesey record

“We allotted to go against the tide on the way up, to have a bit of a tide with us along the top,” Marc explained.

“Then it was flat along the west side, and the tide was four knots against us coming up the Menai Strait. We wanted to go as close to the edges as we dared.”

Using three tracking systems (Garmin, Google MyTracks and Raymarine), Marc clocked a maximum speed of 50 knots in near-ideal conditions.

“The biggest chop we got was barely 1m. I only eased off the throttle about a dozen times just so we could fly flat and not over stress the drive leg,” he added.

Home strait

Racing up the notorious Menai Strait and under the Britannia Bridge, a full 40 knots above the harbourmaster’s normal speed limit, Marc knew that the record was within his grasp.

“But Dean said to me: ‘Don’t count your chickens yet, it’s not over until the fat lady sings.’”

The last obstacle was The Swellies, an intimidating patch of rocks and awkward tidal flows that can confound even the most experienced skipper.

Navigating this treacherous stretch of water at 46 knots secured Marc a place in the record books and a well-earned soaking of bubbly on the pier from the waiting crowd.

Round Anglesey RIB record

With 29 years’ experience at sea, Marc isn’t planning on slowing down any time soon.

“I’m a bit of a water freak, I enjoy being by water, near water and on water,” he added. “I’ve got a bit bored of the Solent and bought the Scorpion specifically to go further afield, so my next trip will be the annual cruise around the Scottish islands with the British Inflatable Boat Owners Association.”

And with a world record under his belt, we’re sure he won’t be short of people offering to be his navigator.

Marc would like to thank Raymarine, Dave Crawford Marine, The Marine Club, and Menai Bridge, for all their help and support.


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