Tim Powell passed away last night.
He died peacefully at home.
Tim Powell entered the world of powerboating almost by accident. It was in the mid-1960s when in the bar of the London nightclub Annabele’s – Tim’s regular hostelry in those days – that he was offered the three-year old Jaguar-powered Tramontana II on the basis that it had a large sponsorship deal in the offing from Esso. The deal was done but sponsorship was purely a marketing ruse that Tim later found to be false, through his many family connections with the oil giant.
Together with his old pal Norman Barclay he entered the 1967 Daily Express International offshore race between Cowes and Torquay. The pair finished mid-field after being almost asphyxiated by a broken exhaust manifold. Until now Tim’s motor sport experience centred on the Jaguar Saloon Car series but here was something new which provided an entirely different challenge.
Tramontana II was followed by the American Formula UFO and later the Bertram American Moppie. Both of which he raced enthusiastically, but victory in the prestigious Cowes-Torquay-Cowes always eluded him.
He was a leading competitor in both the 1969 Round Britain and 1972 London-Monte Carlo races but failed to feature while leading both through navigational errors.
But his skills at sea behind the wheel will not be his epitaph. It was in 1978 that Beaverbrook newspapers were sold.
Sponsorship for the CTC race from the Daily Express was withdrawn and all records purposely destroyed to disassociate the event from the newspaper. Overnight, this great race which set the pattern for all other offshore events in Europe was in danger of being lost forever.
Tim Powell, a competitor with no knowledge of race organisation picked up the reins and for the next three decades held the event together virtually single-handed.
During this time he was to organise the Everest Double Glazing round Britain race in 1984, became Commodore and President of United Kingdom Offshore Boating Association and a name revered on the international offshore scene throughout the World.
His efforts in this area are unlikely to be repeated.