Blue FPT takes the accolade

Round Britain prize for Anglo/Greek outfit

It was celebration all the way as the end of the 2008 Round Britain Offshore Powerboat Race arrived in Portsmouth today (Monday).

Flat seas under a sunny sky was just reward on the final leg of an event that took competitors on a 1500 statue mile high speed voyage up the West coast and down the East.

But the boat that led race on elapsed time was not the first to finish.

Andy Macateer and Nick Wilner aboardVenturerthat lay eighth overall on elapsed time at Lowestoft creamed down to Portsmouth averaging 70.80mph for the 216 mile course but it had little bearing on the overall result. In fact it was later observed this team failed to pass a finishing line marker on the correct side collecting a 60 minute penalty for their mistake.

The second to arrive was yet another Goldfish RIB, this timeGutta Boyzdriven by Norwegian father and son, Nick and Ivar Tollefsen that crossed the line correctly a mere 60 seconds later. Unfortunately while, this boat held the lead on the early stages up the west coast, it began to suffer transmission problems which cost it dearly o n the East. Gutta Boyz lay 33rd overall on the eve of the final leg proving that had she had a trouble free run could have won this classic event.

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The overall elapsed time winner was third at Portsmouth after averaging 67.94 mph. This was the Greek enteredBlue FPT(pictured) driven by Vassilis Pateras and navigated by Britain’s Dag Pike, at 75 years of age the oldest competitor in the event.

They returned a constant performance throughout always finishing among the leaders but never overall. It was a tactic that paid off and they celebrated in fine style on the Portsmouth podium. Vassilis was also the first Greek competitor to take part in a British Offshore event and the first to feature in a major marathon.

Among the many heroes finishing further down the fleet was the all women’s team aboardScorpion Dubiosdriven by Sarah Jane Fraser and Miranda Knowles.

The pair are experienced yachtswomen but here were racing powerboats for the first time while raising money for CLIC Sargant, the children’s cancer charity.

They finished 12th at Portsmouth, 12th overall and third in their class, a well deserved result.

The Garmin Racing boat of Top Gear cameraman Iain May also suffered mechanical problems throughout the event and even on this final leg were forced to stop yet again to make repairs.


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