Sidford man set for Round Ireland RIB Endurance Challenge race

PUBLISHED: 10:44 04 July 2013 | UPDATED: 10:44 04 July 2013

The East Devon Training and Beach Safety Officer for East Devon District Council, Andy Phillips, is entered in the Round Ireland Powerboat and RIB Endurance Challenge 2013 which is sponsored by Suzuki.

The Round Ireland Challenge has been organised by Powerboat and RIB magazine for Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs) over four-metres long and should take 10 days for the small flotilla to complete, weather and sea conditions permitting.

The event starts from Milford Haven, Wales with a 70-mile sea journey to Kilmore Quay in Southern Ireland.

The Endurance Challenge then begins in an anti-clockwise direction, unique for an offshore challenge of this kind, around the mainland coast of Ireland.

The weather systems can produce extremely testing conditions to both the crews and their boats particularly down the west and south Atlantic coasts.

Sidford-based Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Advanced Power Boating Instructor Phillips was asked by two of his previous students, Ray Andrews and his son Will from Axmouth, who completed their RYA Power Boat qualification with him, to take part on their RIB named Taw.

The crew are training for the mammoth trip of 1070 miles by ensuring they are physically and psychologically prepared and have all the right kit on board to cover any eventuality.

The boat will be followed on land by a support vehicle driven by Ray’s brother-in-law.

Andy Phillips says: “It is going to be quite tough as some days we will be travelling over 170 miles, which is a long way for a small craft. A good sense of humour will be essential! It will be even tougher if it gets rough as concentration levels need to be that much higher to avoid disaster. It will be harder on the body as well; we will get quite a pummelling like travelling over a never ending supply of speed humps.?

The challenge starts on July 26 and is scheduled to finish on August 4.

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