Firstly may I apologise to all members and enthusiasts, for the abrupt loss of Classic Offshore Website, this was down to a situation out of our control to do with domain ownership etc. We are now back on air on both .com and .co.uk.
Well another year gone and what a year for fans of the sport, with a resurgence of true offshore racing in the UK. Firstly the Round Britain spectacular where club member and owner of “Gee”, Chris Clayton and his team, swept the board to win the Classic Offshore Powerboat Owners Club Trophy for first historic boat home, after a close fought race with Team 747 (Jonathan Napier’s Miss Daisy).
Then in August, many of those Round Britain boats entered the revived Cowes Torquay, which was rescued at the last minute after P1 pulled out. The Round Britain team under Mike Lloyd ran the race on behalf of the BPRC, although it was a shame the spectators missed out on the action due to intervention by the authorities around the Solent and Cowes. Winners in the historic class which again was closely fought was the 20 year old Revenger of the Williams-Hawkes brothers Tom and Charlie in TFO. Planning is already in hand for the 2009 race.
On the historic front several craft have surfaced and will be going into restoration including Ian Swinney’s Maltese Magnum 2/Twin, whilst in Italy Hydrosonic Special has surfaced and will be restored.
The Earls Court show is on schedule for the 26th November with craft from the Round Britain Race on display but unfortunately, due to unforseen problems, will not include Gee as originally hoped.
One unique craft, which will be on display amongst the modern boats, is the Hunt designed, Lallow built classic, HUM DRUM which entered the Cowes Torquay in 1964. She was designed as a tender to Sir Max Aitkens racing yacht DRUMBEAT. Powered by 2 Volvo Penta inboard outboards she finished the race 32nd in the hands of Hilary Laing and Hilary Twiss in 1964 carrying race no 13, then 18th in ’66 by Cmdr Bence –Trower whilst in ‘67 again with Hilary Laing finished 40th but out of time. Hilary Laing it will be remembered also raced Thunderbolt in 1963.
Now in the ownership of Maxwell Lord Breaverbrook Hum Drum has been totally restored and is a beautiful example of the craftsmanship the came from the Cowes yards in the 60’s.
Besides the Cowes Torquay spectacular in 2009 there will be, subject to the economic climate, several other races to be announced and will include historic classes although the rules may be tidied up as some owners feel the older craft should be re-designated, it maybe thus;
1961 to 1970 Heritage
1971 to 1980 Classic
1981 to 1991 Modern Classic
Whatever happens the new Thunderbolt Challenge Trophy will be up for grabs again in the Cowes Toquay race.
As regards the old girl herself progress has been slow with the atrocious weather this year causing me great aggravation but many of the internals are ready for re fitting and the bank account slowly refilling so engines can be purchased. I am still intending she will be on the water by Summer 2009, fingers crossed!!!!
Our committee are working hard, John Iddon in particular to ensure the club will move forward rapidly in 2009 although we cannot reveal any details yet but we are working with some enthusiastic people who have welcomed the sport with open arms unlike some of the Solent authorities.
On the subject of membership, we can only move forward and achieve our aims with your support and although I feel we need to do more for our membership,
I ask that you bear with us, as everything will start falling into place soon and you will be the beneficiaries as will the sport.
There is some movement with regards to the future of SURFURY but this is a very delicate subject and we will advise you if and when a major move forward is about to take place.
There is also a report on the Dynaplane craft at Basildon by Lorne Campbell which makes interesting reading.
Finally check out the restoration site for details of HTS2’s ongoing history and watch for news of another famous craft languishing at the moment but hopefully to be rescued.