Just as the hubbub of rum swilling sailors has departed the shores of the Isle of Wight having participating in AAM Cowes Week, the power boaters arrive to stir up the pace of life with the world’s most prestigious offshore powerboat race, The Cowes to Torquay, which is to be held over the coming weekend.
The Cowes – Torquay – Cowes race covers a distance of 182 nautical miles. The record of two hours, eighteen minutes and five seconds was set in 2008 by Fabio Buzzi, Simon Powell and Rafael Del Pino from Italy in the boat ‘Red FPT’ at an average speed of 91.1 mph.
After the overwhelming success of a new race format in 2013, which saw the fleet stopping in Torquay, the organisers have agreed to run the race in two parts once again. They were inspired by the enthusiastic response of the race fans at the Torquay stopover last year and have decided to stay with this successful format.
An exciting change is also planned for the start at Cowes this year with the race returning to its roots. In close consultation with the safety folk at the RYA, the race organisers have worked hard to ensure the fans see an organised start closer to the shore. In recent years the race start has not been accessible to the general public, and was held past Hurst Castle where only the most hardy boaties or passengers on the start boat could actually watch the action. Thankfully this year the race start returns to its birthplace in the Solent off the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes.
With more boats competing this year the start will be critical as the racers jostle for the most advantageous position on the line. Spectators should choose their spot early to ensure the best view. The start at Cowes provides excellent spectator opportunities at Egypt Point where the fleet will be accelerating on their way down the Solent and out into Christchurch Bay.
Event Director, Dorian Griffith, said:
“I am thrilled that the start is back in Cowes. The BPRC has demonstrated to the RYA and UIM that it can run races safely, and their work with the RYA has enabled the return of the start of this world famous race to its rightful place in Cowes. This will give Cowes a massive boost as spectators can once again experience the largest gathering of ear-shattering, spine-tingling horsepower being used in anger on the water when the raceboats cross the start line on Sunday morning at 9am.”
Dawn in Cowes will break to the sound of roaring engines and activity on the water will be evident from approximately 08:45 when the racing fleet will muster to the east of the Cowes Harbour entrance. Race boats will then pass at speed in a convoy between Snowden and Trinity House buoys before starting the actual race immediately to the north of Gurnard Cardinal Buoy at 09:00.
The boats will be located at the wet pits at each end of the race course and excellent viewing opportunities will be available for spectators.
Viewing Places and Times
• Egypt Point, Cowes @ 09:00
• Hurst Castle area @ 09:05-09:30
• Fort Victoria, Yarmouth @ 09:05-09:30
*All timings are approximate and subject to change depending on weather conditions
To find out more check out the Race Website http://cowestorquaycowes.co.uk/contacts/