Thanks to Malc for once again sharing details of this upcoming event. Ed
This coming weekend (3rd-4th September) will see the 56th year of Offshore Powerboat Racing at Cowes. It’s time for the 2016 edition of the world’s most prestigious offshore powerboat race, The Cowes to Torquay, Torquay to Cowes.
Once again the Solent will reverberate to the sound of high powered, high octane powerboats when the Cowes Classic 2016 Powerboat Race roars into town.
Cowes – Torquay – Cowes
The Cowes – Torquay – Cowes race covers a distance of 190 nautical miles. The course record speed was set last year by Peter Dredge, Simon Powell, Mal Crease and David Gandy driving Vector Martini Rosso at a staggering average speed of 94.55 mph.
Also running alongside of this is the Cowes – Poole – Cowes race, giving a combined total of over 30 boats.
Birthplace of international powerboat racing
Cowes is recognized as the birthplace of international powerboat racing.
It is therefore fitting that every year some of the biggest, brightest, loudest and most powerful boats in the world assemble to re-enact the famous race from Cowes to Torquay then turn around and race back from Torquay to Cowes, where the first race was hosted in 1961.
Winner for spectators
The format is a definite winner for the spectators on the Isle of Wight, giving fans an absolute feast of powerboat action with two starts and two finishes. Four exciting opportunities to see the action.
Dawn in Cowes will break to the sound of 34 powerboats and their roaring engines, 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 past the Snowden sailing mark before starting the actual race immediately to the north of Gurnard North Cardinal Buoy at 09:30.
The Cowes – Poole – Cowes race will commence 15 minutes later at 09.45.
Depending on the conditions, the fastest boats should appear back in the Solent at approximately 11.00 for the Poole racers, and 3.00pm for the Torquay boats, for a finish off the Gurnard North Cardinal Mark at Egypt Point.
Excellent viewing opportunities
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. Remember to allow enough time to get back to your favourite vantage point once the boats start their engines.
The drivers are keen to meet with their fans, however from a safety perspective we have to change the way this interaction takes place so this year there will not be access to the pontoon and the best place to chat with the race crew is at the Pier above the pits, the drivers will come to you.
Event Director Martin Levi commented,
“It should be a fabulous weekend, the Cowes Torquay Cowes is the only race of it’s kind in the World. It’s also international, we have teams from Germany, Belgium, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Ireland, the US and the Channel Island’s of Guernsey and Jersey.”
Island Viewing times
08.45 Parade of boats
09:30 and then 14:30 – 17:30 at Egypt Point, Isle of Wight
09:35-10:00 and then 14:20-17:30 at Hurst Castle
09:35-10:00 and then 14:20-17:30 at Fort Victoria, Isle of Wight
08.45 Parade of boats
09:45 and then 10:20-12:00 at Egypt Point, Isle of Wight
09:50-12:00 at Hurst Castle
09:50-12:00 at Fort Victoria, Isle of Wight
*All timings are approximate and subject to change depending on weather conditions.
Access to the Cowes Yacht Haven, Cowes and the pontoons at Haldon Pier, Torquay is limited to race crews and officials.
Where and when
Cowes Wet Pits – Vectis Yard, High St, Cowes PO31 7BD
Wet pits will be available from 09.00 Saturday 3rd September to 21.00 hours Sunday 4th September.
Torquay Wet Pits – Haldon Pier, Torquay, Devon TQ1 2BG Wet pits will be available from 10.30 to 15.00 on Sunday 4th September.
Image: © Malc Attrill