The Cowes–Torquay Winners 1971 to 1980

The Cowes–Torquay Winners 1971 to 1980

1971 LADY NARA RONNIE BONELLI
36FT CIGARETTE / ARONOW
2 X 475 HP MERCRUISERS
TIME ; 6HRS 22 MINUTES
SPEED 38.4 MPH
RACE DISTANCE 212 NM

Lady Nara

1972 AEROMARINE IX DR CARLO BONOMI
36FT CIGARETTE / ARONOW
2 X 600 HP KIEKHAEFER
TIME ; 4 HRS 33 MINUTES
SPEED 55.2 MPH
RACE DISTANCE 218.7 NM

Aeromarine IX

1973 UNOWOT (EX ENFIELD AVENGER) DON SHEAD
37 FT ENFIELD / SHEAD
2 X 600 HP KIEKHAEFER
TIME ; 4 HRS 6 MINS
SPEED 62.1 MPH
RACE DISTANCE 222 NM

Unowot

1974 DRY MARTINI DR CARLO BONOMI
36 FT CIGARETTE / ARONOW
2 X 600 HP KIEKHAEFER
TIME ; 3 HRS 49 MINS
SPEED 66. 9 MPH
RACE DISTANCE 222 NM

Dry Martini

1975 UNO EMBASSY (UNOWOT) DON SHEAD/ R HOARE
37FT ENFIELD / SHEAD
2 X 600 HP KIEKHAEFER
TIME ; 3 HRS 08 MINS
SPEED 72.9 MPH
RACE DISTANCE 199 NM

Uno Embassy

1976 I LIKE IT TOO (EX AEROMARINE 3) CHARLES GILL
36 FT CIGARETTE / ARONOW
2 X 530 HP CHEVROLET
TIME 3 HRS 17 MINS
SPEED 69.9 MPH
RACE DISTANCE 199.1 NM

I Like It Too

1977 YELLODRAMA 3 KEN CASSIR
38 FT COUGAR / BEARD (CAT)
2 X 600 HP CHEVROLET/AEROMARINE
TIME ; 3 HRS 2 MINS 50 SECS
SPEED 75.1 MPH
RACE DISTANCE 199 NM

Yellowdrama

1978 KAAMA BETTY COOK
36 FT CIGARETTE / ARONOW
2 X 625 HP MERCRUISERS
TIME ; 2 HRS 58 MINS 34 SECS
SPEED 77.4 MPH
RACE DISTANCE 200 NM

Kaama

1979 DRY MARTINI 2 (EX ALITALIA DUE) GUIDO NICCOLAI
39 FT PICCHIOTTI / SHEAD
2 X 625 HP MERCRUISERS
TIME ; 3 HRS 10 MINS 30 SECS
SPEED 63.6 MPH
RACE DISTANCE 175.6 NM

Dry Martini 2

1980 SATISFACTION BILL ELSWICK
39 ft SCARAB
2 X 600 HP MERCRUISERS
TIME ; 3HRS 5 MINS
SPEED 79.6 MPH
RACE DISTANCE 245 NM

Recent Posts

Renato (Sonny) Levi.

Renato Levi, known to all as Sonny, was born in Karachi, India in 1926.
His father ran a shipyard in Bombay(now Mumbai), so Sonny naturally took an
early interest in boats & ships.

Sonny became an apprentice in his fathers shipyard in Bombay, but with the coming of World War 2, he joined the RAF, becoming a Pilot Officer. No doubt his interest not only in boats but also aircraft was heightened by this part of his life.

Sonny became primarily interested in marine design, especially in relation to smaller, fast craft, and the ability of such craft to withstand the varieties of sea conditions often encountered. He designed craft for his fathers yard during the 1950’s, but moved to Italy in 1960. In Italy, Sonny managed Cantiere Navaltecnica (Canav), in Anzio.

No one of a certain age can forget “A’Speranziella”, built by Canav to Sonny’s design for the 1961 Cowes-Torquay Race. She finished sixth, after experiencing mechanical problems, but had led the race for a considerable distance, dueling with the eventual winner “Thunderbolt”.

After partially re-building the boat in light of the experiences of 1961, success dawned with a win in the 1962 Viareggio-Bastia Race. Further developments resulted in great success with “A’Speranziella” winning the 1963 Cowes-Torquay Race.

Sonny became a world renowned designer of fast craft largely as a result of these successes, and the many fast craft he designed culminated in the 1965 launch of
“Surfury”, often thought of as one of Sonny’s most memorable designs. This boat
made a name for herself, winning Cowes-Torquay in 1967. “Surfury” was the first of Sonny’s much lauded Delta designs.

This success brought more commissions, and Levi designs were sought world wide,
where fast sea-going boats were needed.

In the 1980’s, Richard Branson commissioned Sonny to design “Virgin Atlantic
Challenger II”, which was successful in recording the then fastest trans-Atlantic crossing, despite contaminated fuel issues en route. This famous boat was certainly a fabulous marker in Sonny’s career. “VAC II” not only had its design by Sonny, but also the Levi Drive system too.

Developments in high speed propeller and drive systems have been part of Sonny’s
great contribution to fast boat development over the last forty or more years.

Martin Napier

  1. Sonny Levi Comments Off
  2. COWES – TORQUAY – COWES Comments Off
  3. MONACO FORTUNA Comments Off
  4. SURFURY Comments Off