The Island is once again preparing to play host to one of the most prestigious powerboat races in history this August bank holiday weekend, with Europe’s largest fleet of offshore powerboats descending upon Cowes for the annual Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race.
The Royal Yacht Squadron has always been a favourite location for both Islanders and visitors to watch the start of this extraordinary race.
As the boats roar past an imaginary line signalled by a green flag being waved off the start boat, the cannons from the squadron fire loudly in front of the spectators. It’s the only race in history to have such an incredible start as the boats roar down the Solent heading for the English Riviera before charging back across this same line after racing for around 209 miles.
Local racers are always keen to cross that finish line and take Gold, and Islander Hugo Peel with his team in ‘Thunderstreak’ have been thundering across the Royal Yacht Squadron line for as long as they can remember. This year marks the diamond anniversary of ‘Thunderstreak’, the oldest boat in the fleet. A ‘Bertram 31’, she made her debut back in 1963, the year she was built.
Also, Islanders Colin Gibson and Richard Jackson in ‘Top Banana’ will be looking to follow on from last year with another podium placing. But in this mammoth race, it is well-known that it is more about man versus the elements rather than man versus man.
The thrilling race will start at around 10am, but it’s always wise to check the local news for any time changes.