The Honda Formula 4-Stroke powerboat series is gearing up for the second grand prix of the 2005 championships, in Douglas on the Isle of Man on the 25-26 June. It will also be the first time in its seven year history the series has visited the island.

The Honda Formula 4-Stroke powerboat series is gearing up for the second grand prix of the 2005 championships, in Douglas on the Isle of Man on the 25-26 June. It will also be the first time in its seven year history the series has visited the island.

Titled the Steam Packet Company Grand Prix, the Manx rounds are crucial to all Honda Formula 4-Stroke competitors. The opening race of the 2005 series at Largs in Scotland on the 29 May saw the only all girl team in the Honda fleet, Team Raymarine, storm to victory in the 225hp fleet. However they will be under pressure from Rob Lister and Will Nocker in Fat Boy Racing, who finished second in Largs They are keen to close the gap.

“We’re not going to settle for second!” comments navigator Will Nocker. “We’ve got our eyes set on Team Raymarine and are confident that we can better our standing. It’s a new location for everyone, with the Round the Island race on the Sunday providing a fresh challenge. We are definitely looking to take our first victory in Fat Boy Racing at this new and untested location.”

The 150hp fleet looks equally competitive. Last year’s ‘4-Nations Trophy’ winners, Peter Kingsbury and Steven McCulley in Alsford Timber won the first round of the season in a race which was typically unpredictable. The HF4S veterans battled hard against some impressive rookie teams to claim their win. The lead changed repeatedly throughout the race with Kingsbury and Elliot facing stiff competition from B.A.R. Honda, ‘X Pole and Delmar Flooring.
“We’re looking forward to the Steam Packet Company Grand Prix, where we hope to emulate our success in Largs,” states Kingsbury. “Our victory in Scotland was an unexpected but great start to the season. However we are not going to rest on our laurels. We were pushed all the way in our opening race and I anticipate it will be the same at the Isle of Man. We’ll be watching Delmar Flooring and X Pole carefully, both of whom passed us at Largs, before experiencing technical difficulties which took them out of the running. The Round the Island race on the Sunday is a new challenge for all teams and I think we are in for some exciting action at the Isle of Man.”

The Isle of Man is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the world’s largest offshore powerboat fleet. Honda recently showed off its 225hp craft during the Isle of Man TT, proving Honda’s racing credentials on water as well as on land. Honda BSB championship leader and former TT winner Michael Rutter was persuaded to swap his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade for a Honda Racing 225hp powerboat, in the same week that he showed his prowess on two wheels by taking part in the TT parade lap.

Steve Curtis, HF4S series organiser and six-times Class 1 World Powerboat Champion comments, “The HF4S calendar is changed year on year to incorporate new and exciting race locations. The Isle of Man is shaping up to be a fantastic venue. Our powerboat fleet arrives at the Isle of Man to an impressive racing heritage. Honda earned its spurs on the Island, having first raced motorcycles there at the TT in 1959, so the arrival of the HF4S fleet is a fitting one and competitors should expect a warm welcome. No one should miss the action of The Steam Packet Company Grand Prix of the Isle of Man.”