New maritime conference features unique sea trials

Speed@Seawork Day One
The event offered full speed rough water sea trials
The event offered full speed rough water sea trials
Tideman's indestructible RBB 900 returning from a deliberate excursion onto the rocks
Tideman's indestructible RBB 900 returning from a deliberate excursion onto the rocks

The inaugural Speed@Seawork Sea Trials Day was opened by Alistair Hughes, Lead, CSS Boats, MOD UK who welcomed the delegates to the “open and inclusive event”. The first day conference sessions took place on board the Ocean Scene as it travelled to Cowes from Southampton and back.

Delegates then listened to presentations from Lt Cdr Mark Raeburn, Fleet Surface Navigator, Royal Navy about the ‘Vahana Project – renewing the Royal Navy’s fleet of vessels under 20m’ and Paul Glatzel, Expert Trainer on ‘Accidents don’t happen – managing and reducing risk and incidents as a highspeed operator’.

It was agreed that the attendees face similar and unique challenges and that this event provided them with the right environment for collaboration across organisations. Sponsors with table top exhibits were also able to network with the delegates on board.

RIBs from Zodiac Milpro and RIBS and a Tactical Water Craft from Golden Arrow Marine accompanied the mother ship, Ocean Scene, demonstrating their manoeuvres out of Southampton Water and into the Solent.

On arrival at Cowes all delegates received a free Deckvest Lite from Speed@Seawork sponsor, Spinlock.

An impressive line-up of craft, including vessels from BAE Systems, Tideman Boats, Parker Ribs, Zodiac Milpro, Norsafe were waiting on the Trinity Landing pontoon at Cowes to take delegates out for sea trials in the Solent, showcasing both the vessels and cutting-edge equipment; including military jet skis, police boats and new drone advances.

Lunch, sponsored by British Marine, was at the Island Sailing Club, with Andrew Webster, CEO of Seawork Organiser, Mercator Media, welcoming everyone to the event.

He commented, “Speed@Seawork is being launched in response to sustained industry demand for a dedicated event for fast vessel builders, operators and specialist equipment manufacturers. Speed@Seawork aims to bring them together to trial equipment in diverse sea states, share best practice and make the connections and innovations needed for high-speed critical operations to be a success.”

Delegates attending the day included representatives of the Hong Kong marine fire service, Ministry of Defence, European police forces, safety organisations, naval architects, key defence contractors and leading academics.

Maritime Journal sent Editor, Jake Frith, who was highly impressed by the machinery on offer: "I managed sea trials on most of the boats present, in between the fantastic networking opportunities and a very good lunch. Among the most memorable experiences from the day were doing 60 knots plus in Norsafe's Munin S1200 across a choppy Solent, which felt as smooth as 20 knots in my own RIB. Bruno Tideman was up to his usual antics, demonstrating the indestructible nature of the Tideman HDPE hulled launch by hitting it with a very large sledgehammer, but at the Speed@Seawork event was able to provide the more real-world demonstration of grinding its hull up the rock armour sea defences with no harm done. The crash stopping power provided by the Hamilton Jet aboard the BAE Systems PAC 24 RIB was also a memorable, if wet revelation to those aboard as it went from full planning to zero in about two boat lengths with a shower of water over the bow."

The second day of the Speed@Seawork event was held on dry land, at the Seawork exhibition in the Knighthood Conference Village. Delegates took the opportunity to visit over 600 exhibitors from across the commercial marine sector and attend the Speed@Seawork conference.

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