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News - 16/08/18

Cowes-Torquay-Cowes powerboat race 2018

Now in its 58th year, this August Bank Holiday weekend (25th-26th August 2018) sees the return to Cowes of the historic Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Powerboat race, and the smaller Cowes-Poole-Cowes race. 

With over 30 boats already entered, including boats from the UK, America, Belgium, Bermuda and Sweden, this year promises to be the biggest for many years. 

Swedish entry Going Lean - Photo Mikko Oikari
Swedish entry Going Lean – Photo Mikko Oikari 

The 200-mile Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race has long been recognised as one of powerboating’s toughest challenges, and comparisons have been made with motorsport events such as Le Mans and the Indy 500.

Competitors will be racing for the prestigious Harmsworth Trophy as well as the 2018 World Offshore Championship and 2018 UKOPRA British Offshore Marathon National Championship.

The boats will be based in the Cowes Yacht Haven, and visitors and spectators will be able to get close up views from the Yacht Haven walls all day on Saturday, 25th and early on Sunday, 26th.

The sound of roaring engines will start early Sunday morning as crews do their final checks, and activity on the water will be evident from approximately 0845 when the racing fleet will parade past Cowes Green before mustering to the east of the Cowes Harbour entrance. 

Race boats will then pass at speed in a convoy past the Snowden sailing mark before starting the actual race to the sound of the cannon between The Royal Yacht Squadron line and the Gurnard North Cardinal Buoy at 0930. The main race will be followed by the Cowes-Poole-Cowes race start at 0945.

Cowes-Poole boats will start to appear back in the Solent from 1045. Depending on the conditions, the fastest Cowes-Torquay-Cowes boats should start to appear back in the western Solent from 1500 for a finish off the Gurnard North Cardinal Mark at Egypt Point.

Powerboats at Cowes Yacht Haven - Photo Malc Attrill
Powerboats at Cowes Yacht Haven – Photo Malc Attrill 

Saturday, 25th August

09:00 – 17:00 Race administration – Cowes Yacht Haven 
09:00 – 14:00 Signing in at Cowes Yacht Haven
09:30 – 17:00 Scrutineering at Cowes Yacht Haven 
14:00 – 15:30 Official testing period

Sunday, 26th August
08:45 Race boats depart Cowes Yacht Haven for parade 
09:30 Race start: Cowes-Torquay race 
09.45 Race start: Cowes-Poole race 
12:30 Podium presentation at Haldon Pier 
14:00 Race start: Torquay-Cowes race 
16:00 Podium presentation at Cowes Yacht Haven 

Suggested viewing points for Islanders:
Cowes Yacht Haven
Cowes Parade and The Green
Egypt Point
Yarmouth Pier
Fort Victoria

All timings are approximate.

Local Notice to Mariners
Read LOCAL NOTICE TO MARINERS No. 23(T) of 2018 – Cowes Classic Offshore Powerboat Races: Sunday 26th August 2018

For more information visit:

Powerboat poster