Two Cowes wins adds Harmsworth Trophy to World Marathon title
Italian Fabio Buzzi driving Red FPT repeated his Friday victory yesterday (Sunday) when he won the 50th running of the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes classic. It proved a dominant double at this British Powerboat Festival.
The win sees Red FPT awarded two highly coveted pieces of silverware, the Beaverbrook and Harmsworth trophies, plus the World Marathon championship.
Powered by 2,400 horsepower from four Fiat FPT diesels, Buzzi (pictured left) fought off the early challengers – Asia, Hot Lemon and Kerakoll – to record a remarkable fourth Cowes-Torquay-Cowes title and further cement his already legendary status in powerboat racing.
Thirty boats started and the early exchanges in very rough seas indicated a very tough contest. A few, thinking it would be calmer, chose to hug the coast over a longer route round Lyme Bay but this ploy proved no real advantage.
By Torbay, the halfway stage of the 178-mile classic, the opening exchanges were confined to the chasing pack as Red FPT, averaging speeds of 60mph (96kph), cemented the lead with Buzzi’s only real threat coming from the Chinese-entered Asia, which fell back later with trim problems.
“This win gives me as much satisfaction as my first in this boat 22 years ago,” confirmed a jubilant Buzzi. “It is a remarkable craft, but the secret is the engine package from FPT. Reliability is everything in this type of racing – you can’t win if you don’t finish!”
The Italian, Mario Invernizzi, and Englishman, Peter Dredge, in Kerakoll were second across the line but were later disqualified for losing their liferaft in Lyme Bay.
Second therefore went to local competitors Vee Ganjavian and Gareth Williams from Southampton in Fury, a 39ft Phantom. In third place was last year’s race winner, Cinzano, owned and driven by Markus Hendricks from Germany.