Classic contest returns!

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The most famous endurance race in powerboating, the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes, is to be reintroduced to the sporting calendar in 2008 by Powerboat P1 Management, organisers of the Powerboat P1 World Championship.

However the company has announced it will not hold a British Grand Prix of the Sea at Cowes, as it has done to great fanfare over the past four years. Instead the revised P1 calendar keeps the racing fleet abroad.

However powerboat fans will celebrate the revival of the CTC, which first ran in 1961. It will take place over the August Bank Holiday weekend and is expected to attract a field of up to 80 top racers from around the world.

The race is an open event, organised in association with the British Powerboat Racing Club (BPRC).

The boats will start and finish in Cowes and the front-runners complete the gruelling course in less than four hours, weather permitting.

The race was the very first offshore race in Europe and is a famously testing course.

Jim O’Toole, Managing Director, Powerboat P1 Management, says: “In formulating our 2008 P1 World Championship calendar we decided for financial and operational reasons not to stage a Powerboat P1 British Grand Prix of the Sea in Cowes, which clearly will be disappointing for our UK based P1 community.

“P1 respects tradition and heritage in our sport and resurrecting the historic Cowes-Torquay-Cowes is an ideal way of meeting the requirements of our UK based P1 teams, manufacturers, sponsors, and media as well as the 1.5m UK powerboat enthusiasts, for many of whom the P1 event has become an annual pilgrimage.

“The event enjoys iconic status in world powerboating and we believe many racers from various classes and markets around the world will be unable to resist the opportunity to participate in this legendary race. We look forward to working closely with the BPRC in the months ahead to make the return of the event a resounding success.”

Lord Beaverbrook, Chairman, British Powerboat Racing Club, adds: “We are delighted that the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes will return in 2008. It is an event steeped in history and tradition and represents one of the great powerboating adventures. In the past it has been instrumental in the development of offshore motorised craft. If any race has provenance this one has.

“The timing of its return, in the same year as the Round Britain Race, adds fresh impetus to both events as teams and manufacturers have an added incentive to make the necessary investment.”

www.powerboatp1.com/ctc