Fabio Buzzi wins the 47th Cowes-Torquay-Cowes setting its second fastest speed
The 47th Cowes-Torquay-Cowes offshore powerboat race took place in perfect sea conditions on Saturday. The fleet of 37 boats left the Cowes Yacht Haven before the fleet was taken down in convoy for a rolling start at North Head buoy West of Hurst Spit. 24 boats took part in the main event to Torquay with 13 smaller craft racing to Poole and back. For the first time in two decades the race ran non stop without re-fuelling in Torquay.
The early leader Honey Party driven by Richard Carr was well placed on the Westward run until a power failure forced his retirement six miles South of Exmouth. The lead from then on became a battle between the two Italian entries, Fabio Buzzi, and Mario Invernizzi driving Red FPT and Silicon Fire.
It was bow to bow back to the Cowes finish with Buzzi taking 2hours 18minutes 5 seconds to cover the 184 mile course winning by a mere four seconds over his fellow countryman Invernizzi time of 2 hours 18minutes 9seconds. Buzzi’s performance represented an average speed of 91.01mph – the second fastest in the 46 year history of the event. Third place was taken Andy Macateer, Nick Wilner, Steve Macher and Will Barrett driving Venturer with a time of 2hours 36minutes 7seconds.
79 year old Keith Schellenberg aboard Yellowdrama, the oldest competitor in the race, was placed second in his class. Schellenberg first took part in the Cowes-Torquay race in 1962 aboard Blue Moppie, the design of which changed the face of the sport with its deep vee hull and ability to achieve high performances in rough conditions
The rear of the fleet saw the two classic cruisers 747 and the recently restored Gee cross the finishing less that one minute apart.
First over the line in the Cowes-Poole-Cowes race was Team Conrad driven by Daniel Cramphorn,, Kim Collins & Barry Keen who completed the shorted course in 31minutes 45 seconds setting an average of 79.38 mph. Second slot was filled by Bat out of Hell crewed by Mark Brewster & Lance Selby with third going to Andy Twemlow and Neil Jackson aboard Maverick.
James Sydenham & Sally Osborne driving Project Racing ran out of fuel 300 yards short of the of the finish and were forced to paddle their boat over the line to secure their sixth place.
Mike Lloyd, Event Director said, ‘I followed the race all the way to Bridport by helicopter and watched crews enjoying themselves. We were blessed with great weather and ideal sea conditions and are already looking forward to coming back to Cowes next year.’