Pensioners turn back the clock

Regardless of a combined age of 159 years veteran powerboaters relive London to Calais run

Motor Boat & Yachting columnist, Ray Bulman, turned back the clock yesterday (July 1) when, together with his old powerboat racing colleague, Geoff Tobert, he drove a 40 year old Sunseeker Sovereign runabout he tested for the magazine in February 1970 279 nautical miles from London’s Chelsea Harbour to Calais and back again.

With a combined age of 159 years it was probably the last time the pair would drive the Putney-Calais-Putney course over which they launched Class III offshore powerboat racing in 1962. The first race took 11 hours 58 minutes to complete. Yesterday’s passage was almost the same at little more than 14 hours.
Asked how the two pensioners felt after such epic voyage, Ray said:

“We have a few aches and pains but I guess we should expect this at our age. But our greatest surprise is the boat itself. Over 40 years old, it smashed in to a heavy Channel chop without a murmur. It was a testimony to its builder and although Geoff and I had had enough at the end of the trip, it seemed the Sovereign could have gone on forever.”

See more photos of Crazy Girl’s cross-channel adventure