Tearing up the Thames

Organisers of the Honda Formula 4-Stroke Championship are hoping to bring the roar of powerboat racing back to the River Thames for the first time in over 30 years

The Beatles were still a subversive influence when powerboats last sped down the River Thames. Now, over thirty years later, Steve Curtis, Honda Formula 4-Stroke (HFFS) Series Organiser and three-times Class 1 powerboat world champion, plans to run an HFFS race through London to Ramsgate, 80 miles distant on the Kent coast.

The race will form part of round three of this year’s HFFS, and will be contested by the 20-strong 130hp fleet – the biggest one design powerboat fleet in the world – and the ten boats sporting Honda’s new 225hp outboard – the most powerful one design fleet in the world.

Curtis is hoping to hold the event over the weekend of 8-9 June 2002. Both fleets will launch at Putney Bridge and rumble along the river as far as Tower Bridge when the 225hp class, capable of 75mph, will hit the gas. Once the Pool of London has settled, the 50mph 130hp class will begin the chase.

After an overnight stop in Ramsgate, round four of this year’s HFFS will return the fleet to London with the Greenwich Meridian marking the finish line.

“All Honda Formula 4-Stroke races are spectacular to watch as they are so fiercely contended,” said Curtis. “Yet the stunning historical beauty of the Thames will make this race one of the most memorable powerboat events of all time. I can’t wait!”

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“With the expansion of the famed 130hp fleet and the introduction of the exciting new 225hp series, 2002 is shaping up to be a phenomenal year for Honda Formula 4-Stroke,” said Martin Sanders, General Manager Power Equipment, Honda (UK).

“Honda is already heavily involved in the revitalisation of the historic Cowes-Torquay-Cowes powerboat race with the Honda Cowes Classic and it would be the icing on the cake if we could also re-establish the London Powerboat Grand Prix in the sporting calendar.”


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