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Powerboat teams gear up for 100mph Cowes race
8:23am Wednesday 28th August 2013 in Sport
THE serenity of the Solent will be shattered this weekend as the Cowes to Torquay powerboat race roars into action on Sunday.
The annual event, which is otherwise known as the Cowes Classic, starts at the Royal Yacht Squadron on the Isle of Wight and powers its way down to Torbay before returning in a pulsating 160 nautical mile round journey.
Powerboats of all engine sizes and hull length will be taking on some of the most unpredictable waters in the world as they blitz along the south coast.
Now in its 53rd year, the race is the world’s longest surviving offshore race and is designed for UIM marathon series vessels. The boats, which weigh in at around 5.5 tonnes, consume around 550 litres of fuel per hour and have the potential to reach over 100mph. It is considered one of the most prestigious events in the powerboat calendar, so much so that some participants reserve their only outing on the water for the occasion, preparing their boats for months prior to taking to the water. Last year, 18 boats turned out for the event that Vee Ganjavian and Gareth Williams won in their Microlink PC’s ‘Fury’ craft.
They managed a winning time of two hours and forty two seconds at an astonishing average speed of 68mph. And the pair will defend the title that they have won two years running.
Runners-up, ‘Cinzano’, driven by Markus Hendricks, Simon Wood-Power and Eric Smillie will also be back for another go.
This year will see a slight change to the usual programme with the boats stopping to refuel in Torquay before returning to Cowes.
That decision was made following the great support the race received last year off the Devon coast as they turned the buoy, as traditional for the race, and headed back to the finish-line.
For Hampshire’s spectators, Hurst Castle will provide the best view of the action as they head out of the waters around the Isle of Wight.
Departing Cowes at 9:30am for a 10:00am start, the event will then restart in Torquay at 2pm before the prize giving back at the Royal Yacht Squadron at 7:30pm.
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