Britain's two leading offshore powerboat race organisers, the Honda Formula 4-Stroke Association and United Kingdom Offshore Boating Association (UKOBA), are to merge.

Britain’s two leading offshore powerboat race organisers, the Honda Formula 4-Stroke Association and United Kingdom Offshore Boating Association (UKOBA), are to merge.

The coming together is the direct result of the outstanding success of the Honda Formula 4-Stroke offshore racing series over the past three years which has seen fleets of one-design racers grow to more than 30 craft. The pairing will become the world’s largest offshore racing group.

UKOBA is Britain’s oldest offshore club and was responsible for the launch of Class III (6-litre maximum) class in 1962: later adopted internationally to become the world’s most popular offshore racing class. At one time the association was the sport’s premier club with over 500 members staging no less than eight separate events around the British coastline every season plus the Everest Double Glazing Round Britain in 1984.

UKOBA President Clive Curtis, father of the 2004 Yachtsman of the Year and five-time world Class I (16-litre) champion, Steve Curtis, is confident this historic move will elevate British offshore powerboating to new levels.

Commenting on the new amalgamation Clive Curtis said, “As the winner of the first ever UOKBA cross Channel race in 1962 I have since seen the sport in Britain grow from strength to strength. Its racing also proved a perfect platform for development. There is no doubt whatsoever that most luxury cruisers we see today such as the Sunseeker range are direct descendants of the designs we proved offshore.

“Although I’ve long retired from active involvement behind the wheel,” he continued, “I’m kept fully informed by my powerboating son and hence extremely keen to see the sport continue to gather strength.”

The re-launched organisation plans to create the largest member-based powerboat club in Europe by offering a high level of racing both for competitors and spectators. Together with the current Honda F4-Stroke and RYA national championship series, the main aim of the new committee will be to stage non-championship club events, practice sessions and a strong social environment for the entire family to enjoy.