Could create the largest fleet for many years

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With an added fleet of 50 or so Honda and Offshore Racing Drivers Association (ORDA) craft plus over ten Sports boats and 20 larger class contenders, this year’s prestigious Cowes Classic race to Torquay and back over the August Bank Holiday weekend could have the largest line-up for almost three decades.

With all classes starting together, the fleet will be led west by the high speed Red Jet ferry before the starters flag is dropped off the Solent Bank buoy.

It will be the first non-championship event of the Honda Formula 4-Stroke series giving crews their first taste of non-multi-lap racing. While the larger classes head directly to a Torquay turning mark, the smaller fry, including the Honda fleet, will set course for Poole Bay. Here the Honda fleet will cover one circuit of the bay with the ORDA boats – mainly Class III – racing two before returning to Cowes. It will result in Honda having a 40 mile contest with the rest racing 70.

Meanwhile, after rounding marks off Paignton and Torquay the larger offshore classes will head directly back to Cowes across Lyme Bay without any compulsory detour off Bridport as in 2008.