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Innes Ireland - trawler skipper?


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#1 KJJ

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Posted 29 August 2002 - 10:13

I’ve been trying to collect details of Innes Ireland’s racing record and life. If anyone can help with details of his club racing record pre-1959 or his Playboy Endurance series races with Stirling Moss in the mid 80s I’d be very grateful.


One thing that intrigues me are the references to Innes the trawler skipper in his obituaries. Does anyone have any further details of this period in his life, which port was he sailing from for instance? I guess it would be before he started writing for Road & Track in the 80s.

By the way I see there was a letter from his elder daughter Christianne in this month’s Motor Sport

Any other F1 sailors - I seem to remember something about Damon Hill racing powerboats and was it Pironi who was killed in a powerboat race?

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#2 LittleChris

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Posted 29 August 2002 - 10:17

Lamberto Leoni was very good in powerboats I believe.

#3 Ian McKean

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Posted 29 August 2002 - 10:40

Timo Makinen won the Round Britain Powerboat Race many years ago but rather upset the power boat fraternity when he said it was easy, he just kept the throttle open all the time.

Innes as a trawler skipper was news to me.

When I was 13 (1960 or 1961) I had a race with Innes on my (metal bodied) Scalextric. I have a photo of him waving the chequered flag at a Herefordshire Motor Club kart race. He was a true gentleman.

His party rick was to crack a walnut in one hand. Extraordinary! (Not by squeezing two walnuts together, in case you wondered).

#4 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 August 2002 - 17:00

Yes, at one time I believe Innes operated three trawlers - or they might have been drifters - fishing boats in any case. He was based, I believe, in Kirkcudbright on Wigtown Bay, south-western Scotland, fishing the Irish Sea, but I do remember him telling some typically Innes story - never spoiled with facts - about going across to Norway to buy a new boat, well - a new 2nd-hand boat.

He did the deal and set off on his own, to sail it home across the North Sea. He was just about to leave harbour in Trondheim or Stavanger or somesuch when he was hauled in and stopped by the Norwegian coastguards and fisheries people. "Where are you sailing to?". "Home to Scotland". "Where's your crew?". "I haven't got a crew - I'm it!". "For a craft this size you must have a crew of at least three...". So Innes went into a bar and bawled "Does anyone here fancy a trip to Scotland, find your own way back?". A couple of drunks took him up on the offer, and clambered on board, promptly finding a comfy bunk and snoozing off, while Innes sailed them solo across the North Sea.

He took the boat through the Caledonian Canal, I presume, to home on the west coast, and then motored off - with a working crew - to fish in the North Sea. Whereupon a Royal Navy or Irish Navy fisheries protection craft hove in sight, and spotted the Norwegian registration which Innes - typically - had failed to paint out, and replace with a new UK or Scottish registration. "Heave to and prepare for a boarding party! What is a Norwegian boat doing fishing in these waters?".

Innes, exasperated, told his helmsman "Hard a-'port - ignore the silly bugger " ...so they simply turned stern-to the patrol boat and motored away from it.

Whereupon the patrol boat skipper had a sense of humour failure and rushed around in front of Innes and again ordered him to stop and be boarded.

Innes kept zig-zagging and ignoring these orders until, he said, they actually put a shot across his bows to make him heave to. He apparently got into considerable trouble over this incident. Whether it was what put paid to his fishery venture or not, I can't recall - but I do vividly recall him telling us all this one night somewhere, with tremendous sound effects and hand gestures...shortly before finally drinking himself under the table and nodding off to sleep...

DCN

#5 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 29 August 2002 - 17:49

Originally posted by KJJ
Any other F1 sailors - I seem to remember something about Damon Hill racing powerboats and was it Pironi who was killed in a powerboat race?


The late Jim Crawford was a trawler until his death. Others who now make their living or live by or on a boat of some kind, either past or present, include Bruce Kessler, Johnny Servoz-Gavin & John Barber, to name just three.

#6 ensign14

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Posted 29 August 2002 - 20:21

Didn't Sir Bernie's father own a trawler?

#7 cabianca

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 04:41

There was a story in either Motor Sport or Road & Track about someone from witchever mag going down to see Innes and his fishing boat. Seem to remember something about Innes coming into port in a very narrow channel and seeing his magazine mate. He then did some very tricky maneuver to turn the boat in the channel to show off. Seems it was something only an extremely experience of extremely crazy skipper would try.

#8 petefenelon

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 08:44

Originally posted by KJJ

Any other F1 sailors - I seem to remember something about Damon Hill racing powerboats and was it Pironi who was killed in a powerboat race?


What about Jochen Mass - spent a lot of time in the German Merchant Navy before racing, and used to own a rather splendid yacht (a proper one with sails and so on not one of these motorised gin palaces!) didn't he?

pete

#9 ghinzani

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 12:24

Originally posted by petefenelon


What about Jochen Mass - spent a lot of time in the German Merchant Navy before racing, and used to own a rather splendid yacht (a proper one with sails and so on not one of these motorised gin palaces!) didn't he?

pete


He certainly did - until his Captain wrecked it on a rock in a harbour in about 89 or 90 !! Jochen was non too pleased!

#10 FEV

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Posted 31 August 2002 - 07:34

Thanks for another great Ireland tale Doug !

#11 KJJ

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 10:42

Yes, thank you Doug for another marvellous story. Surely the multi-talented Innes deserves a biographer, not just Ireland the racing driver but also the man of action in so many fields, the writer and journalist etc.

I get the feeling that Innes did not get close to achieving his potential and that his drinking diminished him, would that be true? The obituaries also hint at various tragedies in his life, I guess his son’s death would be one, any others, or perhaps this forum isn’t the place?

#12 Doug Nye

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 13:57

Originally posted by KJJ
The obituaries also hint at various tragedies in his life, I guess his son’s death would be one, any others, or perhaps this forum isn’t the place?


You have named the worst tragedy of all - but you are absolutely right in the latter remark... Let's just remember Innes for the fun and for some fine drives. He was whole-hearted in his sport, and pretty honest and well-intentioned in his writings...let's leave it at that...

DCN