The course for the Honda London Grand Prix on June 8-9 has been shortened for logistical problems

The course for the Honda London Grand Prix on June 8-9 has been shortened for logistical problems. Competitors will no longer use the old 69-mile leg to Ramsgate, the traditional refuelling port of the Putney-Calais race. Instead a new course has now been confirmed that will bring crews back to their Pool of London starting point from a mark in Sea Reach Buoy below Tilbury.

This major alteration is due to the large following of corporate hosts which now accompany the fast growing Honda Four Stroke one-design series. The event was originally planned to terminate at Ramsgate where competitors would attend a celebration dinner before racing back to London in a separate contest the following day.

Honda race organiser, Alan Goodwin, explains. “We would need to transport nearly 200 supporters and guests to Ramsgate after watching the start in London. Current speeds of the Honda fleet however would almost certainly see these people arriving long after the last boat entered port let alone the winner which is not the object of the exercise.”

It will be the first time powerboating has taken place on the Thames tideway for many years and is very much an experiment in view of recent regulations following the Marchioness enquiry. If successful, Honda plan to investigate the possibility of a full river and sea course in 2003.