The organisers of the growing Honda Formula 4-Stroke race series have chosen two new venues for the 2004 championship series.

The organisers of the growing Honda Formula 4-Stroke race series have chosen two new venues for the 2004 championship series.

Rounds will now be held in Guernsey and during the Southampton International Boat Show as well as returning to the popular venues of Abersoch/ Pwllheli, Largs and Plymouth.

The two Honda fleets, comprising the 225hp and the new 150hp classes (upgraded in 2004 from 130hp) will open the season in Guernsey on April 24-25. Guernsey has a rich powerboat-racing heritage as host to one of the European legs of the Class I (16-litre) Offshore championship in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is a fitting venue for the first two contests of the 2004 championship, especially as round two celebrates the 50th Honda Formula 4-Stroke race since the championship’s inception in 1999.

The series then moves to Largs, Scotland on May 29-30, returning to one of the busiest venues on the calendar. The beachfront setting provides a perfect vantage point for spectators.

This year’s Welsh Grand Prix returns to Abersoch/ Pwllheli on June 26-27. Again, excellent boating facilities combined with a shoreline that brings racing close the beach makes a natural choice for the sport.

Plymouth is the setting for the Grand Prix of England on July 17-18. This event completes the 4-Nations competition, contested by both classes during the first four grands prix of 2004. The HF4S fleets will officially support the Class One British Grand Prix and will race within the harbour walls shortly before the 16-litre, 2,000hp vessels head out. The large number of Honda boats taking part in the HF4S events is certain to give visitors on Plymouth Hoe an exciting spectacle before the Class I outfits race.

Completing the 2004 season, the Honda Formula 4-Stroke championship will contest rounds nine and ten at the Southampton International Boat Show on September 11-12. This will be the first time a boat show has hosted a powerboat grand prix and is a major coup for the series. Visitors will get an unprecedented view of the racing from specially erected grandstands around the dock.

“The 2004 calendar reflects the continual growth of Honda Formula 4-Stroke,” comments Martin Sanders, General Manager Power Equipment, Honda (UK). “This year we celebrate the sixth successful season of the championship and the first where the horsepower on the smaller class has been increased from 130hp to 150hp. By constantly refreshing the calendar with well-researched quality venues and ensuring competitors remain challenged and interested by the racing, the series remains fresh and exciting.”

Honda Formula 4-Stroke Grand Prix calendar 2004
Grand Prix of Guernsey April 24-25
Grand Prix of Scotland, Largs May 29-30
Grand Prix of Wales, Abersoch/ Pwllheli June 26-27
Grand Prix of England, Plymouth July 17-18
Southampton International Boat Show Sept 11-12

All dates are provisional and may be subject to change.