Calm weather added to the success of this year's Honda Cowes Classic...

(Ray Bulman Update, September 4, 2001)

Calm weather added to the success of this year’s Honda Cowes Classic when flat
seas allowed Italian powerboat designer/builder to set one of the fastest ever
averages over the 220 miles return course to Torquay. It was the first time for
a decade the race had been held over the traditional offshore route to the West
Country venue and the success of this decision was there for all to see.

Buzzi’s 3120hp, 50ft (15.24m) Rib Gincanotto reached the Cowes finish 16
minutes in front of the British entered Big Rib driven by Simon Fletcher. His
winning speed of 76.54mph would have been even higher had he not been forced to
make a hasty repair in the Western Solent when an electrical component failed on
the return leg.

Austrian Hannes Bohinc, who recently set a new record over the Monaco-London
route in his 80ft (24.3m) Buzzi designed Record, drove 2 Speed 2: an 800hp
Yanmar powered Rib into third place after a trouble-free run. It was not a
trouble-free day for all however.

The high pace made it a race of attrition with eight of the 31 starters
suffering mechanical breakdown.

The packed two-day programme included the final rounds of the Honda Four
Stroke series and Pro-Vee championships.

The Honda title went to James Sheppard and Neil Sinclair in King of Shaves
after a close contest. Although Andeas Ugland from Norway won the Pro-Vee race
round the Isle of Wight it was Christopher Chatsworth and Simon Fletcher who
collected 2001 championship title on points aggregate accrued over the three
rounds.

The event proved a huge success for the pure offshore enthusiast. Over 80
craft were entered for the six separate events that were run alongside the main
race to Torquay. Plans are already well in hand to ensure a similar offshore
course is maintained for next year’s Honda Cowes Classic.

HONDA COWES CLASSIC RESULTS

European Endurance Class
1. T Powell F Buzzi Gincanotto 76.54mph
2. C Charlesworth S Fletcher Big Rib 70.39mph
3. H Bohinc G Zanoni 2 Speed 2 70.22mph
4. P Dredge I Sanderson Sunseeker XS Racing 70.02mph

Honda Formula 4-stroke Championship
1. R Clemson N Clemson Starfish Enterprise 43.74mph
2. P Moore I McLean Media Surface 43.66mph
3. D Baker K Baker jobs-at.co.uk 42.46mph

Class III 2-Litre
1. R Smith G Reeder Commodore Ferries 63.45mph
2. R Hill S Donohue Apex Leasing 62.78mph
3. J Cooke G Lawton Ribeye 61.69mph

Class III 4-Litre
1. M Archer C Bowler Powertrucks 69.08mph
2. C Smith M Bridges Tubhumping 46.57mph

Formula 3 RIBS
1. A Wilby M Wilby Cardinal Sin 41.30mph
2. T Bolton W Bolton Phoenix II 41.29mph
3. R Strawford J Grant Retribution 40.95mph