POWERBOAT P1 PILOTS PROVIDE GOOD SHOW IN BRITISH ENDURANCE RACE Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Race Inspired by American Classic, Jory & Bohinc Give It A Go Powerboat P1 World Championship racers Hannes Bohinc and Shelly Jory provided some drama this...
POWERBOAT P1 PILOTS PROVIDE GOOD SHOW IN BRITISH ENDURANCE RACE
Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Race Inspired by American Classic, Jory & Bohinc Give It A Go
Powerboat P1 World Championship racers Hannes Bohinc and Shelly Jory provided some drama this past weekend in the renowned Cowes-Torquay-Cowes (C-T-C), Europe's oldest and biggest endurance race, off the Southern coast of England, just three weeks before the final Grand Prix of the Sea in Siracusa, Sicily.
Cowes Torquay Cowes 20 boats took the green flag in this grueling 170 nautical-mile test of machine and mettle, with the weather providing unusually rough seas for a race that has been known for its rough seas. Just how grueling? Just how rough? Consider that only nine teams made it back to the finish and the one word answer would be 'EXTREMELY!"
Jory, a champion British boat racer who ran in Powerboat P1 Evolution Class in 2008 and is half of the all-female Team #44 IKO CASA running SuperSport Class this season, paired with British sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, and ran their ten meter Scorpion Sting RIB (rigid-hull inflatable boat) to an impressive fourth place finish.
TEAM SCORPION took home plenty of souvenirs from their weekend. In addition to the Motor Boat & Yachting Trophy awarded Jory for being the fourth placed driver, she was also awarded the Ladies Trophy while Sir Robin, aged 70, captured the MEMA Trophy for being the oldest competitor. Used to the comparatively staid world of sailing, Sir Robin - the first sailor to circumnavigate the globe single-handed and non-stop in 1969 - commented "It was an interesting experience and one I won't forget. I will definitely be back next year - but as a spectator!" Team Scorpion Jory, the top woman offshore champion in the world called the C-T-C "one of the toughest endurances races I have ever done. I have to pay tribute to Sir Robin and the crew for their stamina and contribution to getting the boat back to Cowes."
Austrian Hannes Bohinc, who drives the Powerboat P1 Evolution Class #88 SNAV OSG -currently in second place - understandably broke concentration on the P1 Championship for one weekend with his eye on becoming only the fourth man in history to win the C-T-C three times. Bohinc owns and throttles the 39-foot Fabio Buzzi designed RIB racing under the banner of WETTPUNKT.COM.
With the lead changing throughout the race, conditions deteriorating, six foot seas and just 20 miles to the checkered flag, WETTPUNKT.COM was gunwale-to-gunwale with Team CINZANO, and both were closing on HOT LEMON, which had led most of the race.
But history cruelly denied Bohinc when, just 1.5 miles short of the finish a ruptured fuel tank force the Buzzi RIB from the race, allowing CINZANO, piloted by Marcus Hendricks, Tim Grimshaw and Eric Smilie to take the checkered flag just seconds ahead of HOT LEMON. "That's racing," Bohinc said, "It was really tough but we did everything we could to win in these difficult conditions. It was a fantastic team performance and we are naturally disappointed after coming so close." Another Powerboat P1 team,OCEAN DRAGON, a former SuperSport contender, ran into difficulties and sunk. Thankfully its crew, owner Martin Lai and Miles Jennings were safely rescued.
The winning time of 3hrs 35.20, is a far cry from the first Cowes-Torquay race in 1960 of just over seven hours. The race was created by Sir Max Aitken, owner of the Daily Express newspaper, who was inspired by his participation in another legendary race on this side of The Pond, the famed Miami-Nassau run. The race was made a round-trip and became the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes in 1968.
The C-T-C is hosted by the British Powerboat Racing Club, and more information is available at www.britishpowerboatracingclub.co.uk.