More than 90 powerboat teams from across Europe descend on Cowes this week to compete in the Cowes/Torquay Race and finals of the World and European Endurance Championships

More than 90 top powerboat racing teams have arrived in Cowes to compete in the Honda Cowes Classic series of races around Isle of Wight this week and the 210 mile Cowes/Torquay endurance event on Saturday. For most of the British competitors keen to compete in the RYA’s Powerboat National Championship in Gibraltar in October, the Honda Classic is the final key indicator event, so good performances here are critical.

The Honda Classic is also the final round in the European Endurance Championship. Following earlier events in Gaeta and Naples, Britain?s Peter Dredge and Ian Sanderson with their Sunseeker XS2000 production boat are the current points leaders and hope to add this world title to the string of world records they already hold.

Also up for grabs is the World Endurance Championship title, made up of Thursday’s 2-lap race of the Isle of Wight and two legs of the Cowes/Torquay Race, which finishes back at Cowes on Saturday afternoon. It is in this series that the Sunseeker team can expect a good run for their money from The Earl of Normanton and David Allenby, Chairman of Teleflorist who launched their 38ft Cougar powerboat last week and impressed everyone with the speed generated by their triple 250hp Yamaha outboards. If they can solve their reliability problems, Hannis Bohinc and his Austrian team in their 1,640hp 37ft monohull Wettpunk.com? could also take the title.

Another challenger, this time for the BIBOA world title, is Hot Lemon, a 33ft rigid bottom inflatable piloted by Dave and Mike Deacon from Ringwood who two weeks ago established a new Round Britain record for boats under 50ft with a time of 37hrs 51mins 35 seconds.

“Cowes has always been recognized as the home of European racing which dates back to the first Cowes Torquay Race in 1960.” Says Peter Dredge, adding, “This is the race we all want to win, for this year sees the reinstatement of the 99 year old British International Harmsworth Trophy, the world’s oldest piece of powerboat silverware so there is a lot at stake.”

With entrants from as far a field as Austria, Italy, Norway and Sweden, and engine sizes ranging from 1,640hp down to 90hp, many of the boats are capable of exceeding 100mph, including the powerful Pro-Vee class whose races on Friday and Sunday form the second round of their European Championship series.

The Honda Festival of Speed also features the final rounds of the popular Honda Formula 4-stroke Championships for 130hp and the new 225hp racing machines and the BIBOA World Cup for Open, F1 and F2 rigid inflatables.

HONDA COWES CLASSIC PROGRAMME:

  • Thurs. 22 August. 1200 UIM Endurance World Championship Heat 1
  • Fri 23 1430 Pro-Vee European Cup Heat 1
  • Sat 24 1000 Cowes/Torquay/Cowes race
    10:30 RYA National Championship
    12:30 Honda Formula 4-stroke 130hp race
    13:15 Honda Formula 4-stroke 225hp race
  • Sun 25th 10:30 Pro-Vee European Cup Heat 2
    10:45 Round the Island Race for all classes