Briton takes Honda Cowes Classic honours

British powerboat veteran Tim Powell rolled back the years during the 41st Honda Cowes Classic race from Cowes to Torquay and back

Britain’s Tim Powell, assisted by Italian powerboat ace Fabio Buzzi, took overall honours in the 41st Honda Cowes Classic offshore powerboat race. Gincanotto completed the 191-nautical mile course at an average speed of 76.54mph.

Powell, 63, raced powerboats in the heyday of the Cowes Classic during the 1960s and ’70s, starting 19 consecutive Cowes-Torquay-Cowes races but never achieved victory in this, the world’s longest running powerboat event.

Powell was invited to drive Gincanotto – a 55ft rigid inflatable powered by four Seatek inboard diesels, totalling 3,120hp – by Italian designer Fabio Buzzi. On paper the boat looked unbeatable but as they made a magnificent return to the Solent, an electrical failure took out their navigational satellite system and for a few minutes it looked as though Powell’s dream of victory was lost.

Buzzi made hasty repairs while the second placed Big Rib, driven by Christopher Charlesworth, began their approach to the Solent waters. Gincanotto eventually got going only to take a mark off the Squadron on the wrong side. Luckily the crew noted their mistake and turn to retake the buoy. In a time of 2h 52m 54s, Powell and Buzzi took the finishing cannon from the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Beaverbrook Trophy.

Fourth place went to serial record breakers Peter Dredge and Ian Sanderson in their production boat, Sunseeker XS Racing, at an average speed of 70.02mph. Dredge and Sanderson set the World record for the circumnavigation of Great Britain in 39h 51m recently. The same boat, driven by Simon Wood-Power and Falcon Hawkins, took overall honours in the endurance class in the Round the Island race.

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The Pro-Vee European Cup was a thriller, won by Andreas Ove Ugland and Jann Hillestad from Norway by just eight seconds from Christopher Charlesworth and Simon Fletcher in Thunderstorm.

Honda Cowes Classic Results: Pilots – Boat – Ave. Speed
European Endurance Class1. T Powell/F Buzzi – Gincanotto – 76.54mph2. C Charlesworth/S Fletcher – Big Rib – 70.39mph3. H Bohinc/G Zanoni – 2 Speed 2 – 70.22mph4. P Dredge/I Sanderson – Sunseeker XS Racing – 70.02mphHonda Formula 4-stroke Championship1. R Clemson/N Clemson – Starfish Enterprise – 43.74mph2. P Moore/I McLean – Media Surface – 43.66mph3. D Baker/K Baker – – 42.46mphClass III 2-Litre1. R Smith/G Reeder – Commodore Ferries – 63.45mph2. R Hill/S Donohue – Apex Leasing – 62.78mph3. J Cooke/G Lawton – Ribeye – 61.69mphClass III 4-Litre1. M Archer/C Bowler – Powertrucks – 69.08mph2. C Smith/M Bridges – Tubhumping – 46.57mphFormula 3 RIBS1. A Wilby/M Wilby – Cardinal Sin – 41.30mph2. T Bolton/W Bolton – Phoenix II – 41.29mph3. R Strawford/J Grant – Retribution – 40.95mph


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