While team boat Blue FPT challenges for the overall

Fabio Buzzi has revealed what went wrong yesterday.

The pre-race favourite, who suffered a terrible blow when his boat hit the Portsmouth submarine barrage moments before the start and was forced to pull out of the first leg, was aiming to make up for lost time as the fleet crossed the Irish Sea.

With flat conditions off the Irish coast, the Italian legend and defending champion opened up the throttles on his restored classic craft Red FPT and showed what could have been.

He and great friend and rival Hannes Bohinc, in Wettpunkt.com, enjoyed an incredible duel at the head of the race at speeds of more than 100mph.

Fabio’s spokesman said: “Fabio Buzzi, to recover the disadvantage accumulated in the first leg, then forced the pace and outdistanced his opponents.

“But suddenly a reduction gear broke, forcing the crew to retire from the race.

“Unfortunately it will be impossible to be present at the departure from Northern Ireland, due to the difficulties of transportation.

“This means that Red FPT will be forced to skip the fourth stage, but certainly Fabio Buzzi will try to continue the race with competitiveness.”

He will no doubt also be cheering on his team boat, Blue FPT (pictured), which using production FPT engines is second overall.

The Greek team’s spokesman said: “The choice of a safer, but also longer, route has allowed Mr. Mako and Wettpunkt.com to arrive in Bangor first, but Blue FPT has achieved victory in its category and another important third place in the overall standings.

“Summing up the stages of the race so far run, Blue FPT is clearly at the top of its category and probably second in the general standings of the Round Britain.

“This is a truly extraordinary result for a boat that is equipped with production engines.”