Taxi driving powerboaters get vital help

Round Britain contender The Bandit was in serious danger of being delayed after the initial supplier failed to deliver a modified console designed to protect the crew and house the engine controls, electronics and gauges. The unit was vital before the boat could race as larger fuel tanks had been fitted altering the internal layout. However Watford-based CF Baker filled the breach at short notice.

Despite having no previous experience in the marine industry, C F Baker, who specialise in bespoke high quality projects in stainless steel and aluminium, built and fitted a new console enabling the craft to leave their workshop just six working days after arrival.

The Bandit, is a 33ft (10.7m) Jeff Hunton designed Hunton Rib powered by a pair of 8.1 litre Mercruiser sterndrive units totalling 850hp giving a performance in excess of 80mph. It will be crewed by a trio of Watford based taxi drivers, Barry Deakin, Robin Reade and Carl Hemp plus IT consultant, Graeme Young, from nearby Chipperfield, Herts.

None have any previous powerboating experience and are hoping for good weather.
Their closest rival in the RB2 class will be the sister Hunton crewed by James May (Top Gear) and Nick Knowles (DIY SOS) who are equally new to the sport.