Classic Rally Weekend

As usual Ben Curtis and Paul Hooper have triumphed again in staging this years Rally at Cowes Yacht Haven……surrounded by competitors in the Cowes Torquay ! in which COPC as a club had 4 members competing!

The event started in overcast conditions and a chill wind….with a very entertaining BBQ inside the comfort of the Cowes Haven premises….late arrival THUNDERBOLT and her crew tied up in darkness were soon tucking in to Burgers, wine etc…to overcome their little hiccup of petrol in the bilges, blocked carbs and a transit of the Solent in the dusk at 6 knots!  Alongside the Haven on the hard was a small display by the CMBA and after their weekends experiences they could well be planning a larger invasion next year.

Barry Sales had arranged on Saturday for some unique filming using a drone!…so the Solent on Saturday was being ripped up by various Huntsmen, Christina and Levi’s including Adrian Motts TRIPLE ENGINE RIVA 2000 plus John Trafford in his recent acquisition a 32knot Cleopatra!  The results of this escapade will be seen on video once it has been mastered.

Once playtime was over the craft motored back to the Folly for a well deserved lunch then back to the pontoons for more Powerboat gazing and trying to assist Robin Ward with his scrutineering problems!  He passed by the skin of his teeth with assistance from another club member Ian Toll..a renowned racer of old!

Dockside a certain Clive Baker was entertaining guest’s from the back of his giant red US Ford truck to which was coupled a matching Dowty Turbojet speedboat circa mid 60′s!….as that party wrapped up Ben’s Pimms Party sprung into life which I had to miss as the BPRC Cocktail Party was my destination…The COPC …Sonny Levi Trophy was being presented to the Race organising team head by  ROB ANDREWS. it was through their efforts that the CTC was now starting on the Squadron line and had raised its profile another notch hopefully paving the way for more advances next year.

By the time that was sorted, a hop step and jump away the Rally dinner was already starting up the road and was heavily oversubscribed leading to 2 dinning rooms but a fantastic evening was had by all… the rather tired faces proved next morning!

and would you believe it Sunday dawned flat calm and in brilliant sunshine! Many of the Rally entrants were also acting as Safety Boats and departed the Haven accompanied by the CT AND CPC race entrants…as I said we had 5 members racing Robin Ward in THUNDERSTREAK,  Brian Pelham in The BEAVER, Nick Wilkinson Jonathan Napier in HTS..MR NOISY with Tony Hamilton and Christian Toll, Mike Peet and Mike Bontoft in Dry Martini the 42yr old Cigarette!

The START LINE SPECTACULAR, which included a mock start after  by the classic’s made superb viewing for spectators nad in those conditions records were there to be broken…and boats! Thunderstreak lost a vee drive in Bournemouth bay, HTS a prop after hitting an object….The BEAVER broke down in the CPC race as did Mr Noisy but Dry Martini showed that even calm conditions could work for her clocking nearly 70mph before having to circle in Torbay for 25 mins so as not to be penalised by the ridiculous 50mph max for historic entrants…taking the THUNDERBOLT Trophy and the Lombard Concours d’Elegance….wIinning boat Martini Rosso with David Gandy as crew came back from Torquay in an hour hitting 120mph in the Solent approaches!

 Once again our many thanks to the Classic Rally and Cowes Classic organisers for a magnificent weekend of Sport and entertainment.

Pictures courtesy of Dave Ormiston, Malc Attrill, Barry Sales