Round Britain Race – lay day at Inverness

Competitors rest before the blast back south

Following three days of rough and tumble racing, the 2008 Round Britain Powerboat Race fleet spent yesterday transversing Scotland either by road trailer or via the Caledonian Canal.

The convoy covered the 100 odd miles from Oban in the West to Inverness in the East in readiness to start the four remaining racing legs after a rest day today.

The the next leg is the longest of the race at around 210 miles to Edinburgh, on Friday.

Although some teams face time penalties for rule infringements occurring as they sped North up the West Coast, it’s now certain the event is headed overall by the Norwegian RIBLionhead.

Its crew, Pat and Henrick Sollie together with James Sydenham have taken 8hrs 50mins 46secs to cover the 506 statue miles raced so far from their Portsmouth starting point.

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It represents an average speed of around 60mph and putsLionhead10mins 9secs ahead of the Greek enteredBlue FPT. filling second slot.

Gutta Boyz, another Norwegian entry, with a father and son crew Ivar and Nick Tollefsen, lies third overall with a time of 9hrs 2min 3secs, demonstrating the high performance of the international entries in the race.

By contrast Austrian Hannes Bohinc, who has finished first withWettpunkt.Comon the last two legs to Bangor NI and Oban but failed to finish the opening leg between Portsmouth and Plymouth, is well down the table at this halfway point in 33rd place.

Although he is likely to lead most of the remaining legs back to Portsmouth, those ahead would need to suffer serious breakdown for him to feature among the winners.

The glamour of the race may always be at the front but many individual contests are taking place further down the fleet.

The Watford based taxi drivers now lie 16th overall and second in the RB2 class with a time of 11hrs 11mins 44secs aboardThe BanditBarry Deacon, Graeme Young and Carl Hemp are chasingRacing Silverline, their RB2 class leader four places ahead, and although a much more powerful contender, Drew Langdon’sRacing Silverlinehas suffered mechanical problems.

Drew and his crew, Jan Falkowski and Miles Jennings, were working at Inverness to correct their problems but if breakdown reoccurs then the taxi drivers drivingThe Banditmay find they have quicker journey.

Another backmarker by no means out of the running in the lower powered MC2 category, is one of the smallest boats in the race.

The hull of the single diesel enginedTFOwas once owned and raced by the Countess of Arran asLaura Lucywhich its current crew, Tom and Charlie Williams-Hawkes (sons of Ed Williams-Hawkes aboardWettpunkt.Com) bought for less than the entry fee for the race.

They are the youngest competitors in the event and lying a creditable 25th overall with a total elapsed time of 12hrs 43mins 43secs ahead of the well reported 42 year old Gee running in the Historic Class.

The two-day non-racing break at Inverness has allowed several teams to catch up. These suffered various mechanical problems en-route.

They have since been worked upon and been transported north to rejoin the fleet on its journey south.

These include the team aboardGarminwhich failed to finish the opening leg.

Round Britain Challenger, driven by veteran racer Richard Griffith, who competed in the previous Round Britain contests in 1969 and 1984 and now alongside his son Dorian, is another to arrive.

Xanthus, skippered by Harley Street dentist John Skuse, has made it by road from Plymouth whileOcean Pirateis also back with the fleet after a battle north following her first leg retirement.


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