UKOPRA Class 1
Hi-Res photos Crew / Boat
Rod Hawkins and Martin Mclaughlin have returned their Formula hull to competitive action after last taking part in the Cowes Torquay Cowes back in 2014.
Powerboats have been a lifelong passion for Mike Bontoft, he started at the age of ten with models of them and then progressed to full size raceboats with his father, Alf.
A highly skilled engineer, Bontoft has worked for some of the best in offshore racing including Cougar Marine, Tom Gentry, Ted Toleman and Jerry Jacoby.
Bontoft lovingly restored Dry Martini, a Cigarette 35’ to it’s 1974 specification over ten years ago and he has kept it competitive ever since.
Christian Toll comes from a family of racers and has been following the sport since 1972, watching his father Ian and uncle Tony race in offshore.
A director of the Cowes Torquay Cowes organiser, the British Powerboat Racing Club, Toll has an encyclopedic knowledge of previous races, the boats and competitors that took part in them.
Toll has been a member of the Dry Martini crew since 2012.
Michael Peet is an avid powerboat and historic car racer and has competed in the Cowes Torquay Cowes race on five occasions in Dry Martini.
He restores vintage and pre-war racing cars and races them at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival events.
Maurizio Schepici first competed in the Cowes Torquay Cowes in 2015.
He established the Italian record hammer throwing record with a distance of over 65 m in 2007, changing sports, he then went on to race in the UIM P1 Endurance World Championship.
He competed in all 3 British offshore races in 2019 and took a win in the Poole Bay 100 race.
Giampaolo Montavoci from Venice has always had a passion for boats, he first raced at the age of 16, started competing in offshore in the 1980’s, and made his Class 1 debut in 1998.
Earlier this year Montavoci was the co-organiser of the Raid Pavia – Venice, where he successfully put the classic Italian race back on the calendar after a long absence and is also the chairman of the offshore section of the Italian powerboating federation (FIM).
Fabio Magnani will return to racing at Cowes this year for the first time since 2007, in that season he won the SuperSport world title in the UIM Powerboat P1 World Championship.
Before joining the team, Magnani also raced in Class1 and latterly in offshore 3D.
Rob Lockyer attended powerboat races from a young age and has operated fast boats since he was 18.
After moving to the US in his 20’s he started a marine company which is still going strong.
Since moving back to the UK he has teamed up with old friend Scott Younger and they now compete together in a Dragon hull that won the Cowes Torquay Cowes in 2018.
Younger has been involved in offshore racing for many years, first watching his father race and subsequently competing in various classes, the highlight being his bravado driving during the 2009 Cowes Torquay Cowes where he lead the fleet on the run to the West Country.
Drew Langdon from the West Country has been racing since he was 19.
His recent successes in offshore racing have included winning the Harmsworth and Beaverbrook trophies and in single seater racing he captured the 2018 Asia Powerboat Championship title in Hong Kong.
Miles Jennings is a five-time world champion and is one of the most colourful characters in racing. He has competed in both offshore and circuit racing for 42 years, only missing the 2020 season due to the global health crisis.
In 2019 he won the Beaverbrook Trophy with Langdon and in Singapore he took the Asia Powerboat Championship title.
Hi-Res photos Crew / Boat
Oxfordshire based Dorian Griffith was almost born into offshore racing when at the tender age of 8 years old his parents, Richard and Sue Griffith bought a Royal Cruiser IV and decided to enter the 1969 Round Britain Powerboat Race, from then on he had the sport in his blood.
Will Stevens is a Sales Engineer at E P Barrus and specialises in marine engines.
He has been an integral part of the team since 2015 and has played a part on and off the water in their continued success.
Robert Jenkins, Michael Jenkins, Harvy Robbinson & James Robbinson
UKOPRA Class 2
Francis Whitley has competed in every Cowes Torquay Cowes race since 2008 and his Yanmar powered Shakespeare has given him an enviable finishing record.
Incredibly, he will undertake this year’s race at the age of 79.
Stuart Cureton teamed up with Whitley a couple of years ago having raced in Honda Formula Fourstroke and P1 SuperStock where he gained over 50 podium race finishes.
Dave Sheldon will be competing in his first Cowes Torquay Cowes race this season after a successful career in Class 3 racing.
The engineer from Poole will be racing a Mercury powered, Steve Baker designed mono hull in which he drove to a class win on his first outing in the Poole Bay 100 event earlier this season.
Dave Flewin started in the ThunderCat Racing series, unlike his driver this will be his second time of competing in the race.
In 2019, Flewin was a part of the Blastoff team that experienced a drive failure at Yarmouth although he rounded off that season with a speed record on the same stretch of water.
UKOPRA Class 4
Brian Peedell started racing in 1994 with his wife Pat and has competed all over the UK, Europe and Scandinavia.
He took part in the 2008 Round Britain race, holds the V24 world speed record, and has enjoyed much success in Class 3 offshore racing.
Nicole Peedell is Brian’s daughter, and she made her racing debut on her 18th birthday.
She took some time out from horsepower for her other love of horses until her mid-thirties when Nicole returned to the sea and competed with Gordon Compton in several Marathon races in his RIB, My Pleasure.
Dave Salter is Nicole’s partner and they have six daughters ranging from 8 to 23, so racing together will seem like date night!
He is no stranger to boats but new to racing.
His enthusiasm for the sport reminds his driver Brian of how he and his wife Pat used to feel at the beginning of their racing career!
Hi-Res photos Crew / Boat
John Caulcutt was a student in 1969 when he made his offshore racing debut in the inaugural Round Britain Powerboat Race. Since that time he has competed in the 1984 and 2008 RB events and is the only person to have completed every leg of all 3 races. He has also taken part in the London Monte Carlo Powerboat Race in 1972 as well as various Cowes Torquay Cowes races both in ribs and also with Keith Dallas where in 1974 and 1975 they were second boat overall and first in Class 2.
The larger-than-life character is equally at home on the water with his love of sailing and has competed in bobsleigh at the Winter Olympics.
During a successful business career, Caulcutt, has also helped many charities over 60 years playing guitar with his band at his annual Towers Party and his recent efforts have helped the Royal Marsden raise over £60 million.
David Allenby makes his return to racing after last taking part in the Cowes Torquay Cowes with Caulcutt back in 2008.
Now based in the West Country, Allenby was a successful competitor throughout the 1980’s and ‘90’s in Class 2 and 3 racing with all five of his boats competing under the name of Assagai.
Robin Ward, Jeff Hall & Rose Lores
Hi-Res photos Crew / Boat
Robin Ward has lovingly restored Unipart, a 32′ wooden Cougar catamaran that last raced in 1989.
The boat was built in the Philippines in 1983 for twins, Gary and Mike Toleman, at the time their father, Ted, was the majority shareholder of Cougar Marine.
The twins raced the boat in the Everest Round Britain race and campaigned it in Britain until it was sold to new owner John Yeoman.
Yeoman, painted it in the colours of his main sponsors, Unipart and Lamb’s Navy Rum, and raced the boat with Kim Leachman and Paul Sinclair until a serious ‘coming together’ in 1989 with a a rival craft caused massive damage to the port side.
The boat was retired from racing and then sat in the Basildon Powerboat Museum for many years.
The damage from the 1989 accident has now been fully repaired, when Unipart was on display in Basildon, it was a cosmetic job only.