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This August Bank Holiday weekend sees the return of the Cowes Torquay Cowes Powerboat race weekend.
Now in its 59th year, the event will see teams competing for the UKOPRA World Championships.
Teams will be participating in the final round of three for the UKOPRA Worlds for Offshore Classes 1/2/3.
Richard Carlton currently leads the 2019 Offshore 1 UKOPRA World Championship and needs a good result at Cowes if he is going to win the title.
Carlton with his crew of Phil and Neil Payter have been consistent in their historic ‘Bubbledeck’ Cigarette with a third at the Poole Bay 100 and a second place in Guernsey.
However, it will be a ‘tall order’ for the team as the competition in the world’s most famous offshore powerboat race is tough.
Cowes will also host the third and final round of the 2019 UKOPRA World Championship for Offshore Classes 3 A/B, 3X and 3N.
The boats will be racing in the Cowes Poole Cowes, a 65.7nm course that will start adjacent to the Royal Yacht Squadron and take the competitors to Boscombe and Bournemouth Piers before they head for home.
The 21 strong fleet will feature 6 lady racers, Sue Baker, Charlotte Camsey, Sue Cosgrave, Colleen Sweeney, Michelle Murray and Hollie Woodhouse.
With over 36 boats entered for all the races, including boats from the UK, Italy, Monaco, USA and Bermuda, this year promises to be the biggest for some years.
The 200-mile Cowes-Torquay race has long been recognised as one of powerboats toughest challenges and comparisons have been made with motorsport events such as Le Mans and the Indy 500.
The boats will be based in Cowes Yacht Haven and visitors/spectators will be able to get close up views from the Harbour walls all day Saturday (24th) and early Sunday (25th).
On the Sunday the sound of roaring engines and activity on the water will be evident from approximately 09:15 when the racing fleet will parade past Cowes Green before mustering 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 to the sound of the cannon between The Royal Yacht Squadron line and the north of Gurnard North Cardinal Buoy at 10:00.
The main race will be followed by the Cowes-Poole-Cowes race start at 10:15. Cowes-Poole boats will start to appear back in the Solent from 11:00.
Depending on the conditions, the fastest Cowes-Torquay boats should start to appear back in the western Solent from 11:45 for a finish off the Gurnard North Cardinal Mark at Egypt Point.
Saturday 24th August
09:00 – 17:00 Race administration – Cowes Yacht Haven
09:00 – 14:00 Signing in at Cowes Yacht Haven
09:30 – 17:00 Scrutineering at Cowes Yacht Haven
14:00 – 15:30 Official testing period
Sunday 25th August
09:15 – Race boats depart Cowes Yacht Haven for parade
10:00 – Race start: Cowes-Torquay race / Cowes 75
10.15 – Race start: Cowes-Poole race (return to Cowes within 1 hour)
11:00 – Boats arrive back in the Solent for CPC and Cowes 75 races
11:45 – Boats arrive back in the Solent for CTC
13:30 – 16:30 Podium presentation at Cowes Yacht Haven
Suggested viewing points for Islanders:
Cowes Yacht Haven
Cowes Parade and Green
All timings are approximate.
For more info visit the official Cowes – Torquay – Cowes Website.
Image: © Malc Attrill