Last week's London Boat Show announcement by P1 Management Ltd that the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes, one of the great endurance events in powerboating history, will once again feature within the summer sporting calendar was met with great enthusiasm
A packed room with more than 80 invitees applauded the announcement that will see P1 Management working closely with the British Powerboat Racing Club and RYA to ensure that the 2008 event is a resounding success.
Amongst the audience was Andy Wilby, the 29 year old driver of Sunseeker Challenger, the FPT-powered racing craft that competes in the SuperSport Class of the Powerboat P1 World Championship.
'I am very excited by the return of the Cowes-Torquay Classic, this is a real endurance event and a true test for boats and pilots. It will be my first event and I am looking forward to it. The event is approximately 105 nautical miles (120 miles) each way and depending upon the sea conditions could take around three and a half hours. I have never raced for this length of time before and will revise my training regime to cope with the likely demands.'
'If the conditions are flat and calm then it should not be so strenuous on the body but if its rough then it will demand serious stamina and willpower. I'm sure our Sunseeker Challenger will relish the challenge whatever the conditions.'
Miles Jennings, the 2005 Powerboat P1 World Champion and winner of the 2003 Cowes-Torquay-Cowes, was equally as enthusiastic. Â 'This is fantastic news for the sport. It is a truly classic event, on a par with Le Mans, the Grand National and Wimbledon. People the world over will tell you what it means. It has the history and mystique as well as fabulous racing. The Cowes-Torquay has always meant a lot to me. I remember as a small boy, the excitement of sitting on the cliffs and watching the boats race by. I have taken part in the race seven times and finally won it in 2003. I definitely intend to be there to defend my title.'
The race will take place over the August Bank Holiday weekend (22-24 August) and although it does not form part of the Powerboat P1 World Championship, many of P1's competitors are expected to compete