I was in an 11-metre diesel-engined RIB cruising at  35 knots, videoing a Galeon 325HTS on Lake Lugano when it happened.

We had been running alongside the sportscruiser before accelerating ahead and commencing a gentle sweeping turn in front of it when the (presumably badly trimmed) RIB ‘hooked’, catching the bow and throwing the boat into a vicious flat spin.

I was at the back of the RIB and experienced the worst of the boat-turned-mutant-fairground ride, aware that six tonnes of sportscruiser was bearing down on us at 30 knots and that the helmsman wasn’t wearing a kill cord.

Only the wooden table  in the centre of the boat rather painfully kept me aboard. The 325HTS missed us, but it was a sobering moment.

I had a similarly scary experience on a Boston Whaler turned roller coaster when a marketing bod from Brunswick thought it would be a good idea to ferry a couple of journos to Porquerolles Island in a gale force eight through seas so big that the windscreen was buried halfway to the top by each oncoming wave.

And I’ve been hit whilst stationary on a small RIB by a speeding 7m Jeanneau when a couple of employees of the RIB’s skipper thought it would be funny to buzz the boss and got it badly wrong, glancing off the side tube at 40 knots!

So when I was invited to join a Goldfish RIB rally to Corsica,  the thought did cross my mind that I would be aboard small and very fast boats, driven by people I’d never met before at high speeds. What could possibly go wrong?

I said yes anyway, because I have a theory that any country or place name used as a boat model designation must be worth visiting. It’s why, when asked whether I fancied popping into Portofino during our test of the Chris-Craft 36 Launch on the Italian Riviera a couple of years ago, I grabbed the opportunity.

After all, there’s never been a Sunseeker Droitwich… And Sunseeker isn’t the only boat manufacturer to use exotic places as model names, Fairline used to make a Corniche and a Brava. It also made a Corsica back in the 1990s, so according to my theory, it had to be worth visiting.

TAGS: