The Brownie Interviews Kev Gibb
Sunday, February 14, 2021
Profile Kevin Gibb
What was your first boat that you sailed?
Grand parents had a house on the beach at Lower Largo home of Scotland's premier dinghy club where I watched and learned. Could rig all the boats on the beach before I knew how to sail. Was about 10 when brother Derek and I were sent on a course and sailed a Mirror.
Favourite venue has to be Largo Bay but second home for 8 years was Hayling Island Sailing Club. Also like Medemblik and Toronto.
You worked in the marine trade many years ago what did you do?
I served a traditional shipwrights apprenticeship in a wooden fishing boat yard on the border between Scotland and England.
Spent all week living in Eyemouth and came home on Fridays to go sailing over the weekends all year round.
We have seen you walking around the dinghy park with a big W on your 1980 polo shirts. Some have asked what this means?
Some say you were a world champion crew. How many worlds did you win?
Well while I was at collage in Southampton after my apprenticeship I meat Julian Redman a top youth Laser sailer. He had re built his fathers Wayfarer after a storm had damaged it.
We went to a few events and did all right and up set the pecking order in the class, I didn't do the Nationals but he did with Kay Tavinor and won, this lead to a new boat for the following year to cut a long story short went to Canada and got the chicken dinner. Then after bits and pieces with others ended up crewing for Ian Porter came 2nd at Nationals and worlds for years it felt like till we got a run of three worlds bearing in mind they are only every three years it quite a lot of time in a Wayfarer.
What was your first solo and date you started. Who got you into Solos?
We were sat at North Berwick during the 400 Nationals when a club member said we got the Solo nationals next year. A few of us said great let’s get one each and show those old farts how to sail. I bought Dave Mitchell's lightly used boat and spent the winter in Largo Bay trying to stay upright. This lead to a Easter trip to Hayling and Barnet green for my first open where I meet Taxi and Brownie for the first time. Also went to Holland by myself to Brassemmer where I learnt a pile of stuff about them and been going nearly ever year since.
Great race management and social. Some years we go twice.By the way still not shown the old farts how to do it.
What is your favourite drink?
Loch Fynne Brewery do a pint called Jarl by far the best in my book. When big boat sailing I stick to Guinness it safe. Don't like getting messy on tour.
What is your worst drink?
Well as a Scotsman this might sound wrong but Whiskey is a killer to me.
What was your best Solo event and why?
Winning the Scottish in Largo Bay was pretty epic having to hold Geoff Henstridge behind me. Coming 8th at a North Berwick Nats and twice runner up at Dutch Nationals. All great events and epic socials.
You left the boat business and went to work for the family firm and then back to the boat business. You can be seen climbing masts and making rigging how did this all come about?
We left the marine trade when the family was young to return to Edinburgh and join Derek in the family business for 17 years when we retired as I like to say. Sitting around is not my thing so I ended up at the local Marina all the time playing with boats, this lead to Lynne and I starting Coast to Coast Rigging Ltd this name thought of by Callum youngest son was meant to signify north and south shores of the Firth of Forth that we stay beside. Little did we think it would end up being east and west coast of Scotland and the rest.
You really pushed the Scottish Solo fleet from 2-3 boats up to regular 20 plus at opens in Scotland. Looking back what did you do to get more boats on the water?
A combination of things and the boat is well suited the migration of sailing people in Scotland. The 400's had our attention for a period of time and crews were always an issue. After I got my boat I just drummed into people that they were missing the close tactile racing we all think of back in the hey days of dinghy racing. I just nagged and lent my boat to people to try. Unfortunately a lot of good guys joined so I went down the Scottish rankings with the likes of Geoff Henstridge, David Sword, Robbie Wilson and Andy Hutchison along with others the class has remained strong. We also managed to piece a demo boat together that has won the junior national prize three times as well as a few opens so this has also helped get members into the fleet. The boat can lay for months doing nothing and then some one ask and away she goes. I would have thought we have had at least 10 plus new members because of her.
The bar girls know not to serve Kev Whiskey.
Best place you have sailed a Solo and why?
I think you have asked that all ready, Largo Bay as many of the fleet know it's not normally like this but on a good day it's bloody great, as it has been every morning for the last six weeks when I look out of the window.
Below; The Scots enjoy some time without Kev.
Stay safe and hopefully we will get sailing again nationally soon