We join the race's only motorcruiser for leg six

MBY man Derek Wynans swaps the high speed world of powerboating for something a little more comfortable today, as he takes part in the sixth leg of the Round Britain Powerboat Race.

Derek, 35, from Oban, Scotland, has been travelling with the fleet of around 48 boats as they circle the British coast in the historic race.

Yesterday he was on LionHead, a 36ft prototype Goldfish RIB from Norway. The boat can do 90 knots and after a run of consistent results is lying first overall in the race.

Not even attempting to wipe the grin off his face after 210 miles through the North Sea on the Goldfish, Derek said simply: “What a piece of kit.”

Today, for the leg from Edinburgh to Newcastle, Derek is on Buro, the only production motorcruiser in the race.

The Botnia Targa 42 has averaged 35 knots around the coast so far but is still lying mid-table in the overall rankings after a steady string of finishes ahead of many powerboats and RIBs built for speed.

In the tough conditions the race experienced in leg one and at the start of leg three, Belgian skipper Peter Vanhauter says he had no need to back off the throttles.

“The boat is built for more difficult conditions than we’ve had in the race so far,” he says.

When racing for leg two was cancelled, Peter and his crew won the respect of the fleet for taking the sea route around Land’s End in gale force conditions and 9m waves in the Bristol Channel, to the next start at Milford Haven.

The Targa has consequently been the only boat to complete the full race course, since most of the rest of the fleet travelled by road to Milford Haven.

A handful of boats did later go round Land’s End too, but in less ferocious conditions and they have not completed the full race course.

Derek says: “I am looking forward to being on the Targa immensely, for several reasons.

“One, I heard they put Barry White on the CD player to drown out the noise of the waves off Land’s End. And there’s nothing wrong with Barry White.

“Secondly, they have a cabin! The exhiliration of the open RIBs and race boats is intense, but I am really looking forward to a dry day when I can keep warm and perhaps even put the kettle on.

“Thirdly, I am interested to compare the performance of the Targa hull to some of the more racy craft, and indeed to some of the other motorcruisers I’ve been on.

“It’s got quite a reputation for seaworthiness and Buro’s performance in the race so far bears that out.”