Cowes 2019 – A Positive View!

Signs of Greater Things to Come:

To the casual observer – spectator, potential contender, marketing executive or half interested media – it’s still hard to comprehend what’s happening. But credit where credit is due, the numbers are swelling and there are encouraging signs of interest from people of modest means, who own performance boats – dipping a toe in.

It appeared that the main event featured, yet again, the scenario of a disparate fleet handing the race to an obvious winner - while heroes among the supporting cast, become somewhat overshadowed.

It wasn’t quite like that, because a legitimate battle did take place until, unfortunately, ‘Tommy One’ was knocked out again. But that was really the end of the story in a race featuring ten boats in five classes - of which six finished. Perhaps the greatest disappointment was the early demise of ‘Blastoff’. However, looking deeper into both the C-T-C and the support races, reveals some value and an encouraging trend.

Despite the obvious mismatch and inevitability of 2800hp winning, if it survived; the 75nm race (Listed as ‘Cowes 100’ on the BPRC website) created a solution for a motley collection of boats to race, including those displaced from previous eras. It presented an opportunity to run in, what professional motorsport would call, a ‘Libra’ race. Restricting the distance goes some way to negate the environmental issues for responsible race organisers, while the ‘no class’ structure suites the free thinking existentialists who are happy to race without capacity or modification restrictions.

As an adjunct to a structured main ‘Grand Prix’ C-T-C event, a ‘Libra’ race may have merit! 

Equally as interesting, was the fact that across all three races there were at least twelve boats with the potential to be serious contenders in any future legitimate Marathon class structure, where fair competition on a level playing field and perhaps a little rethinking and engineering, would bring many more serious contenders into the sport. Time to embrace evolution, guys!


I must mention the bizarre situation of the C-T-C not actually going to Torquay. Whatever the issue was and whoever prevented the race going into Torbay (Council, Harbour Authority?), need to understand that over the past 60 years, ‘brand’ Torquay has been publicised globally by the Cowes-Torquay / Cowes-Torquay-Cowes powerboat race. Books, magazines, TV reports and every powerboat publication ad-infinitum have given thousands of $$ worth of publicity to that ‘tourist’ town. ‘Torquay’ is in the title of the most famous powerboat race in the world! It’s like Monaco saying ‘that Grand Prix is just too inconvenient’, or Wimbledon saying ‘this tennis thing is all too hard’! What’s wrong with these people? A clash of dates is not good enough, they need to get their priorities right!

Maybe engage with a decent PR firm, go to the other side of the bay and make Brixham famous!