The countdown is on to the Fortitudo Property Poole Bay 100 Offshore Powerboat race, the opening round of the 2018 World Offshore Championship and the 2018 British Offshore Racing series, being organised by 2017 Moto and sanctioned by the UKOPRA. Racing will take place in the Poole Bay area on Sunday, June 10.
There will be two competitive classes with Marathon entrants competing in the World Offshore series and for the prestigious Harmsworth Trophy, while Class 3 teams will do battle in the British Offshore counting round. Four hundred points will be earned by the winner of each race, 300 for second, 225 for third and 169 points for fourth, etc.
The top two seeds in the Marathon Class A category are the 38’ Outerlimits Silverline boat, crewed by the experienced Exeter-based duo of Andrew Langdon and Miles Jennings, and the 46’ Fortitudo Cougar being raced by Poole-based businessman and event sponsor Richard Carr and his Florida-based and former Southampton-domiciled multiple UIM Class 1 World Champion Steve Curtis MBE.
It will be great to be racing in British waters again.
This will be my only appearance this year, as I am contracted to race in the United States.
Richard and I won the 2016 Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race in this boat and, after testing over the course a few weeks ago, we are quietly confident.
The Chevrolet-engined 35’ Dry Martini Cigarette, crewed by the Poole duo of Christian Toll and Mike Bontoft, will battle with the Ilmor-engined Warpath, raced by Antibes-based Glenn Chidzoy and Norwegian Ole Finholt, in Class B.
Dorian Griffith and Shelley Jory-Leigh team up in the Yanmar-engined Blastoff to take on the Mercury 4-Stroke-powered 32’ Sunus Ocean Racing of Paul Craven and Tom Montgomery-Swan in Class C. Both teams have received factory support from EP Barrus, the UK distributor of both Yammar and Mercury.
David Foa and Charles Swales, from Exeter, will race a Mercury-engined Pascoe Rib in Class E and the diesel-engined Fugitive of Rose Lores and Francis Whitley heads into Class G battle.
Ten boats have entered the British Class 3 Offshore race in Class A & B. Southampton’s Lee Ornsby and co-driver Ross McGreggor top the field in Licence to Thrill, their Mercury-engined Phantom 19.
Competition is likely to be fierce with 2016 UIM 3A World Champion Jack Bobin (Motorvated Racing) and Bermuda’s Shaki Easton and M’kai Hodsol under the Bermuda Motivation name and Dave Sheldon and Chris Bailey entering a similar Phantom 19G under the co-sponsoring Multispark Race Products banner.
From his home in Southend-on-Sea, Bobin said:
This will be the most competitive field of boats that I have raced against since I won my world title in Tvedestrand, Norway, a couple of summers ago.
I am going to have to be at the top of my game to do well and stay injury-free. I get married in a few weeks’ time!
Other entries in Class Alpha Bravo include Bracknell’s Malcolm Dopson (White Fusion), Portsmouth’s Richard Comben (Ace of Spades), Southampton’s Max Walker (Race R Division), Sandy’s David Boakes (Bad Habit) and the Guernsey-based duo of Mark Terry and Suzanne Cosgrave in the Evinrude-engined Dirty Deeds.
Southend’s Kerry Bobin teams up with Bermuda’s Errin Butterfield to round off the category in a Mercury-powered Twister catamaran.
Three boats will take part in Class X: Lymington’s Robert Lister heads the entry with Nick Crouch in Jupiter and faces competition from Fareham’s Graham Reeder (Ananab Racing) and Newmarket’s Mark Childs in the Mercury-engined Cougar, Fat Boy.
The Frankfurt duo of Ulrich Grobe and Antonija Jovanovic top Class N in a Volvo-powered Mannerfelt, while Sunbury’s Thomas Pelham (The Beaver Returns) and Slough’s Peedell (DB Marine) round off the entry.
The race ran for the first time last year after a five-year absence and attracted nine offshore racing boats. Nick and Jeremy Newsam claimed overall honours in their Frode, Team Draper Tools Racing.
Dave Sheldon made his offshore racing comeback in a Phantom 19G and was sidelined with a throttle breakage, as Graham Reeder and Martin Foster finished second in Ananab Racing (below) and Mark and Andrew Childs were third in Fat Boy. Onsby and McGreggor won Class Alpha Bravo in Licence to Thrill from Jack Bobin and Barry Culver in Motorvated Racing. Brian and Thomas Pelham won Class Basic in The Beaver Returns.
This year’s Marathon race will run for 121.40 Nm over a start lap of 58.80Nm, one shorter lap of 28.40Nm and three laps of 11.40Nm and will start close to the Outfall Buoy at Bournemouth Pier. The shorter Class 3 race for British offshore points will run for 71.4Nm over a start lap of 12.3Nm and three shorter laps of 8.30Nm and 11.40Nm and gets underway to the west of Bournemouth Pier.
Racing will be based out of Salterns Marina in Poole and the weekend’s timetable begins with scrutineering for all equipment from 12.00hrs on Saturday, June 9. The first of the two races gets underway at 12.00hrs on Sunday (June 10) and race two for Class 3 boats fires into life at 12.15hrs to cater for local tidal conditions.
Marathon – entry list
A47. Andrew Langdon/Miles Jennings Silverline
A69. Richard Carr/Steve Curtis/Mark Pascoe/James Sinclair Fortitudo Cougar
B9. Christian Toll/Mike Bontoft/Michael Peet Dry Martini
B69. Glen Chidzoy/Ole Finholt/Gordon Compton Warpath
C100. Dorian Griffith/Shelley Jory-Leigh/Will Stevens Blastoff
C237. Paul Craven/Tom Montgomery-Swan Sunus Ocean Racing
E76. David Foa/Charles Swales Mr Mako
G130. Rose Lores/Francis Whitley Fugitive
Class 3 – entry list
Class A & B
A5. Lee Ornesby/Ross McGreggor Licence to Thrill
A22. Dave Sheldon/Chris Bailey Multispark Race Products
A24. Shaki Easton/M’kai Hodsol Bermuda Motivation
A26. Jack Bobin/Stuart Unwin Motorvated Racing
A66. Malcolm Dopson/Ben Brown White Fusion
A162. Richard Comben/David Taylor Ace of Spades
B4. Max Walker/Darryn Harrison Race R Division
B25. Kerry Bobbin/Errin Butterfield Motorvated Bermuda
B88. Mark Terry/Suzanne Cosgrave Dirty Deeds
B89. David Boakes/Michael Alcock Bad Habit
X51. Robert Lister/Nick Crouch Jupiter
X77. Graham Reeder/Martin Foster Ananab Racing
X96. Mark Childs/Andrew Childs Fat Boy
N8. Ulrich Grobe/Antonija Jovanovic Straightouttafrankfurt
N10. Thomas Pelham/Brian Pelham The Beaver Returns
N13. Brian Peedell/Andy Yeo DB Marine