Some of the world’s fastest boats will be racing off the Isle of Wight this weekend (24-25) in the United Kingdom Offshore Powerboat Racing Association (UKOPRA) World Offshore Championship.
Now in its 59th year, the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race is the world’s most prestigious and longest running offshore powerboat race.
The final leg of the race covers 180 nautical miles and is designed as a non-stop endurance test for crews from Belgium, Italy and Great Britain who will take to 15 high-powered, state- of-the-art boats.
Race boats will pass at speed in a convoy past the Snowden sailing mark before starting the initial race following the sound of the cannon between The Royal Yacht Squadron line and the north of Gurnard North Cardinal Buoy at 10am.
Boats are expected to be passing Boscombe and Bournemouth Piers at approximately 10.20am, Portland Bill at approximately 10.40am and Teignmouth between approximately 11am and 12pm.
Faster boats are expected to appear back in the Solent from soon after 1pm for a finish off the Gurnard North Cardinal Mark at Egypt Point, Isle of Wight. The race runs in conjunction with both the Cowes-Poole-Cowes race, to decide the UKOPRA Class 3 World Championship, and the Cowes 75 Invitational race.
The Cowes-Poole-Cowes race is sure to provide some spectacular racing, starting in the Solent 15mins after the Torquay race.
There are 21 boats competing in this series and they will be expected off the Boscombe and Bournemouth piers between 10.45am and 12pm. There are several vantage points on the headlands of the South Coast of England and Torquay Bay where fans can watch boats arrive in Torbay and then race back toward Cowes.
The Dry Martini, a Cigarette 35, is a 46-year old power boat which stands out in the Cowes Torquay race because of its age and racing pedigree. Christian Toll is the driver of the boat which he mans with Mike Bontoft and Michael Peet.
“With so much tradition in this race, this is the one every powerboat racing team wants to win.
“Though we are in a 46-year old boat with much younger competition, we’re perfectly placed to make a strong run for the top spot.”
To find out more, visit www.cowestorquaycowes.co.uk