Hannes Bohinc from Austria is the new holder of the Harmsworth Trophy after winning it in its centenary year.

Hannes Bohinc from Austria is the new holder of the Harmsworth Trophy after winning it in its centenary year.

First presented by Lord Harmsworth in 1903, the Harmsworth Trophy is considered the powerboating equivalent of the America’s Cup. Originally given to the winner of a two-boat race without any limitation to hull size and engine power, it is now aimed at the offshore endurance classes for boats measuring over 35ft (10.5m).

The contest was decided on the aggregate result of three heats opening at the Royal Motor YC at Poole on 16 August followed by two heats held as a part of the Honda Cowes Classic programme on 21 and 23 August.

The Austrian team was the only overseas competitor taking part. Bohinc was the previous holder of the trophy so it came as no surprise when he won the opening round despite severe sea conditions over the course laid between Poole and Weymouth. Unfortunately his boat, Wettpunkt.com, suffered structural damage and it was not certain it could be repaired in time for the Cowes heats but by working round the clock official scrutineers declared the hull fit to race.

His closest competition came from Andy Mackateer driving the 40ft (15m) twin diesel powered Rib Eraser II and the Earl of Normanton aboard the recently re-engined 35ft (10.6m) Cougar monohull Premier Crew. Both were to suffer mechanical problems during the final two rounds: Premier Crew blowing one of its brand new supercharged Chevrolet engines in the penultimate race. This left the visitor virtually unopposed to collect maximum points including overall victory in the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes, Britain’s oldest offshore race.

The final aggregate result gave Hannes Bohinc a winning score of 1200 points with Britain’s Andy Macateer finishing runner-up with 769.