Round Britain planned for Millennium year

The proposed start is from the dome finishing at Cowes.

Tim Powell, Chairman of the Cowes Organising Committee, responsible for the annual Cowes Classic – Britain’s premier offshore powerboat race – has announced plans to stage a Round Britain powerboat race next year (2000).

The proposed event will involve ten separate daily stages, one less than the last Round Britain in 1984, and start off the Millennium Dome in London rather than Portsmouth.

The course would then take competitors to Cowes, Falmouth, Fishguard, Isle of Man and Oban before passing at non-racing speeds through the Caledonian Canal to Inverness. The contest would then continue to Whitby and Great Yarmouth before finishing at Cowes.

It is proposed to begin in mid-August with the finish coinciding with the Cowes Classic, slated for August Bank Holiday Sunday, so allowing competitors to enter both events. It was Britain which introduced long distance offshore powerboat with the Daily Telegraph & BP Round Britain Race in 1969 before the recession of the early seventies and resulting escalating fuel costs brought a decline in the sport. A second Round Britain, this time sponsored by Everest Double Glazing, was held in 1984. By then offshore racing boat design had altered dramatically.

Speed rather than offshore qualities produced a fleet of lightweights with the majority penalised for not completing certain sections of the race.

It was won by Italian powerboat designer, Fabio Buzzi driving the quadruple Iveco diesel powered monohull, White Iveco who completed the 1400 mile (2253km) course in an elapsed time of 27hrs 28mins. Fellow Italian Renato Della Valle driving Ego Lamborghini finished second overall less than an hour astern. The first British finisher, Peter Armstrong in the outboard powered Brut, was almost ten hours behind emphasising the Italian domination.

With the 1984 race, which he also organised very much in mind, Tim Powell hopes his proposal will attract the current breed of fast offshore family cruisers. With large Sunseekers and their like now capable of domestic speeds in excess of 60 knots in moderate weather conditions, Powell feels their owners may well find such an event a viable alternative to their normal weekend routine.

Latest

Latest videos