With severe sea conditions cancelling two of the three scheduled heats, the winning points from the opening round gave Italian Fabio Buzzi and his crew Lord Beaverbrook the prestigious prize in this year's Harmsworth Trophy contest at Cowes.
With severe sea conditions cancelling two of the three scheduled heats, the winning points from the opening round gave Italian Fabio Buzzi and his crew Lord Beaverbrook the prestigious prize in this year’s Harmsworth Trophy contest at Cowes.
It was only the second time in its 43-year history that the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes classic had not run the course. As this would have been the final round of the contest cancellation was a double disappointment.
The meeting was planned as a multi class event spread over four days. The first and third races on the programme had moderate weather but only the first counted for Harmsworth points. It meant defending Harmsworth Trophy holder, Hannes Bohinc from Austria and his British crew, Miles Jennings and Ed Williams-Hawk, eventually leaving Cowes empty handed after finishing second five minutes astern of Fabio Buzzi and Lord Beaverbrook in Gran Argentina.
This world-renowned contest, the oldest in the history of powerboat sport, had attracted a fair fleet of international competitors. Had the final Cowes-Torquay-Cowes taken place Gran Argentina would have carried the Vice President of Argentina, Daniel Scioli, among its crew but his long trip from South America proved a wasted journey.
The mixed class race round the Isle of Wight took place in fair conditions and was won overall by Sportrib.Com driven by Mark Pascoe in the V24 class. This category saw the closest racing with only a few seconds separating the first five finishers with no retirements or disqualifications.
Not so in the Honda Formula 4-Stroke class. Four 225hp and five 150hp classes entered in the basic all-comers basic race but in complete contrast to the usual Honda multi-lap racing format, faced a 59 mile circumnavigation of the island plus a course taking in several Solent marks. It was the latter that was to cause confusion and disqualification for seven crews, only two Honda boats completing the course correctly.
Rob Lister and William Nocker driving the 225hp class BAR achieved their first winning success since joining the Honda class two years ago. Shelley Jory co-driven by her father John in Team Raymarine followed them across the winning line a little under two minutes later to become the only two Honda finishers.
The Ribs far outnumbered the other marques racing at Cowes. Various contests were programmed for these classes the most important being the BIBOA Endurance Cup. With the Formula One Ribs racing alongside the monohulls for Harmsworth points, Formula Two had their own race round the Island. This was won by Windex driven by Paul Williams and Mark Sansom at an average of 62.59mph. Their success however was still not enough to take the F2 Rib championship lead. This remains with John Puddifoot and David Field who brought Dragon’s Revenge across the line in third place 42 seconds behind the winner. The result now brings their total score to 1376, 62 points ahead of Williams and Sansom currently lying second on the championship table.