The Honda Formula 4-Stroke offshore powerboat series kicks off at Cardiff on May 18 and 19

The record-breaking Honda Formula 4-Stroke offshore powerboat series is set for a phenomenal 2002 curtain-raiser at the first ever Welsh Powerboat Grand Prix on May 18 and 19. The race fleet, the largest of its kind in the world, will contend rounds one and two of the 2002 season in the Welsh capital of Cardiff.

Round one of the championship will mark a milestone in the four-year history of Honda Formula 4-Stroke as the new 225hp class, launched at January’s London International Boat Show, crosses the start line for the first time ever. The sleek new 26ft powerboats, all exactly the same design and powered by identical Honda 225hp engines, are capable of speeds of up to 80mph. They will compete on the same courses as the established 130hp class – eighteen identical 21ft open-cockpit monohulls powered by Honda 130hp (50mph) engines. Both classes adhere strictly to one-design regulations, resulting in extremely close, fiercely competitive racing.

“These races will be absolutely unmissable,” comments Steve Curtis, three-times World Class 1 Powerboat Champion and HFFS Series Organiser. “Anyone who thinks the opening rounds of the season won’t be as fiercely contended as later ones is in for a surprise. Every race counts, especially since we are launching the Four Nations cup at the Welsh Grand Prix (Cardiff), which only takes into account the first four events of 2002.”

“Both Cardiff Bay and the Barrage lend themselves perfectly as natural grandstands from which to watch the action,” continues Curtis. “Spectators are in for a real treat and I know our Welsh competitors are hoping for a large home crowd to cheer them on.”