Thirty-six-year-old Cinzano pummels younger competition

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Markus Hendricks of Germany racing in Cinzano won this year’s Cowes-Torquay-Cowes in style on Sunday, covering the 190-mile course at an average speed of 65.26mph.

The 38ft Cinzano, which Don Shead designed for Italian Renato Del Valle in 1974, showed a clean stern to a much younger fleet to repeat the success it had here on two occasions over 30 year ago.

But victory was not achieved without cleaver tactics on the part of the driver.

Hendricks set a steady pace following the start and lay well down the fleet when Fury, overall leader, passed Anvil Point at the 20-mile mark.

However Fury was to suffer mechanical problems a few miles further up the course before stuffing her bow as she tried to regain planning speed.

By Torquay, marking the halfway stage, Cinzano had crept up and was now dicing with Powerboat Asia for the lead.

They raced back to the Solent several miles ahead of the remaining fleet which by now had been reduced from the original 17 starters down to ten.

Among the retirements was early hopeful Argentum, a brand new 36ft twin Ilmore-powered Cougar RIB driven by Steve Curtis.

Claimed to be capable of speeds in excess of 90mph, it lay a disappointing fourth at the quarter mark before suffering mechanical problems and final retirement.

The leading pair lay less than ten seconds apart as they shot passed Hurst Castle six miles from the finish before Cinzano and a jubilant Markus Hendricks took the finishing flag a few minutes later.

“I knew I had the edge on speed,” said Hendricks once ashore. “There was little point moving ahead. After all one only needs the narrowest of margins to win which left me power in hand. It was a great event and the one race I’ve always wanted to win.”


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