As Britain opens up from the imposed restrictions implemented due to the health crisis, its offshore racers and organisers are optimistically preparing for a much-anticipated season of racing.
The first event of the year, the Poole Bay 100 is only days away, and 25 boats are expected to cross the start line on Sunday May 30.
What may surprise some is that the season opener has attracted an impressive line-up of larger craft.
This year the United Kingdom Offshore Powerboat Racing Association (UKOPRA) have gone back to a traditional class structure with Class 1 boasting the higher-powered and faster boats.
Drew Langdon and Miles Jennings start as hot favourites in the flagship category, and after a recent outing in their Mercury powered Outerlimits, Langdon described the boat’s test as ‘very strong’.
The pairing could be up against six other boats while Class 2 is expected to field a further half-dozen
which will include engineer and barista Dave Sheldon in a Steve Baker designed hull.
After the first round of the UKOPRA championship on the south coast of England, the racers will head to the channel island of Guernsey.
Yesterday, the Guernsey Powerboat Association’s Hollie Woodhouse announced that her event will take place over July 15th – 19th and that Condor Ferries will be assisting with the logistics of transporting the raceboats to the bailiwick <website>
A month later the competitors will celebrate the 60th anniversary of offshore racing from Cowes.
The venue has always attracted a healthy fleet of international boats and even with the current climate, Italian Maurizio Schepici has confirmed that his Class 1 boat, Tommy One, will be at the event for the August 29 Cowes Torquay Cowes race.
The UKOPRA championship season will be rounded off with a revival of a classic offshore race around the Isle of Wight in September.
While overseas travel from the UK looks to be difficult this summer, British offshore racing fans have plenty to look forward to at home.
A full Poole Bay 100 preview will be posted next week.