Over 60 boats likely to join line-up

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Entries for the annual Cowes Powerboat Festival weekend on August 21-22 are now standing at a record 60 boats. The 2009 event will include Marathon class boats together with V24’s, Honda, Class III and Sports Boats.

Sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first sailor to circumnavigate the globe single-handed and non-stop on his yacht Suhaili in 1969, has announced will be teaming up with the world’s top female powerboat champion, Shelley Jory to take on the longest and toughest one-day endurance powerboat race in the world.

Racing as Team Scorpion with Shelley as the Driver, Sir Robin, an icon of the sailing world, Chairman of Clipper Ventures plc and now aged 70, has never before experienced powerboat racing but jumped at the idea of being Shelley’s navigator when she suggested it to him a couple of weeks ago.

At approx 09.50am the Red Jet Start Boat will go to the Muster area. It will turn and begin its run at 35 knots displaying the Yellow Flag all the way to the Solent Bank Buoy 10 miles West of Cowes. When the Starter is satisfied with the progress of the fleet the Green Flag will be raised to start the race.

Mike Lloyd, Event Director said, ‘We have been able to run this event due to the passion and dedication of those involved and to the generosity of those who wish to see the race, which started as the Cowes-Torquay in 1961 as brainchild of Sir Max Aitken and John Coote, stay in the Solent waters for many years to come. 2010 marks the 50th Anniversary of the race and to celebrate we are holding the World Championship for the Marathon classes which will be a week long series of racing making it the largest powerboating event ever seen in this country.’

For safety reasons the general public will not have access to certain parts of the Cowes Yacht Haven or the pits but will be able to experience the excitement and see the boats from parts of the Yacht Haven and the North Wall.

They will also be able to see the muster at 09.50 off the Royal Yacht Squadron Line and follow the boats down the Western Solent to start of the race at Hurst Castle