Veteran racer wins South Coast Marathon

Racer from the past is given new life before heading tough offshore contest

The South Coast Marathon on Sunday was the first offshore race held by the United Kingdom Offshore Boating Association (UKOBA) – once the world’s largest offshore race organiser – for more than a decade.

The race was based in Weymouth with a genuine offshore course of two circuits running between Portland and the Needles Fairway buoy – a total distance of approximately 170 miles.

The eight-boat fleet spread over four classes was finally headed by the Don Shead-designed UnoEmbassy (pictured), driven by Rob Gray and veteran offshore racer Mike Mantle.

Despite strong northerly winds the 30-year-old UnoEmbassy performed well, moving up through the fleet as several fell back with mechanical problems.

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This boat had spent the last three decades in a barn until rescued by Rob Gray who commissioned Mike Bontoft to re-rig the hull for this year’s Cowes-Torquay-Cowes classic in August.