HotRIBS - The online RIB Magazine
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  # 292
Team Pulsar - Round Ireland Record
Sat 12th Sept 09

Team Pulsar


Round Ireland Record - But Only Just!
Friday 11th Sep 2009 saw Team Pulsar-Racing attempt the Irish National and UIM World Powerboat Circumnavigation of Ireland and Islands (excl Rockall) record. The 704 nautical mile circuit was completed in 19 hours, 9mins and 50 seconds beating the existing record by 4 minutes. (The existing RYA ratified record did not include all the Islands of Ireland designated under the UIM record course, and so was 22 miles shorter)

Team Pulsar Racing crew Justin Mc Inerney, Derek Stanley and Greg Marsden co-skippered their high profile endurance RIB ‘Milwaukee Seawolf’ which had been launched at RIBEX earlier in the year.

The purpose built Quinquari-Humber with proven Raymarine, Shockwave, Suzuki and Succorfish technology that has brought the team previous success in RB08 and other events delivered yet again demonstrating its resilience in some ferocious conditions building on the team’s reputation as offshore endurance specialists.

Even though the team broke the record by only 4 minutes they did not have it all their own way. Some extremely difficult conditions were experienced throughout the attempt almost costing them the record. ‘Milwaukee Seawolf’ crossed the start line off Mizen Head, Cork at 03:00 with Dennis Dillon, the official ISA and UIM Record keeper conducting the underway honours. Due to an unexpectedly poor sea state compounded by darkness the attempt was already in jeopardy very early on with challenging conditions continuing all the way across Galway bay.

However, undaunted and clearly uninterested in defeat, a reputation that Team Pulsar is now well known for, they continued to battle on. Crossing Donegal Bay conditions began to improve and time was made up through to the refuel stop at Cushendall Slip in Antrim. A technical difficulty at Cushendall caused a 30 minute delay but conditions continued to be favourable down the east coast with ‘Milwaukee Seawolf’ achieving speeds in excess of 50knts even with an additional 1000L of fuel on the deck.

As the Team rounded Carnsore Point in Wexford conditions worsened with significant chop developing and a confused sea slowing progress. The run to Waterford was steadily eroding confidence in achieving the target time of 19 hours and 13minutes or less and tension levels in the RIB were steadily rising. Seas from Waterford to Cork gave no quarter and were physically draining for the crew due to the severe impact ‘Milwaukee Seawolf’ was experiencing. Passing Ballycotton and with Cork in site it was calculated an average of 40 knots would need to be maintained if the Team were to achieve anywhere near the nineteen hour target and at this point with only one hour of daylight remaining the target seemed all but impossible.

Stopping briefly at the Cork buoy to switch fuel tanks Greg took the helm from Justin for the final sprint to the Fastnet Rock and Mizen Head. The conditions and light continued to deteriorate and now in total darkness speeds were reduced and crew fatigue was also beginning to take its toll due to the physical stresses been encountered. The Humber however seemed to get its second wind and the sweet music of the Suzuki’s remained reassuring to the last.

The Team rounded the Fastnet Rock and headed for the Mizen with minutes to spare. The lights of the Mizen in sight the only thing was to go for broke. Navigating purely on instruments and pushing 40 knots to the accompaniment of groans and the odd scream ‘Milwaukee Seawolf’ smashed through an unforgiving sea to cross the line in 19hours 9 minutes and 50 seconds breaking the unofficial record by four minutes.

The Team arrived back in Crookhaven to rapturous applause, a Hot whiskey and a welcome meal in the local Pub. Family and friends who had spent the entire day monitoring every second of the days progress on the satellite tracking system onboard from Succorfish were there to welcome the Crew home. Comments about cutting it close were heard all around but the Team concluded that a lot could be accomplished in 4 minutes.

Team Pulsar Racing will compete in The 2010 Round Ireland Offshore Powerboat Race taking place from the 5h to the 12th of June.

Records Achieved:

  •   UIM Class 1 Up to 30Ft, Irish National & UIM World Record
    - ISA & UIM Ratified
  •   UIM Overall Irish National & UIM World Record
    – ISA & UIM Ratified

September 2009