A Legendary Offshore Challenge for the Passionate and Fearless
The Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Powerboat Race, a British classic and an icon in the world of offshore powerboat racing, has been thrilling fans and participants alike since its inception in 1961. Organized by the renowned British Powerboat Racing Club (BPRC), this prestigious event pushes the limits of both man and machine as teams battle it out across the unforgiving waters of the English Channel.
The race covers a daunting 190-mile (306-kilometer) course, starting from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, then traversing along the southern coast of England to the picturesque harbor of Torquay, before returning to Cowes. It demands precision, skill, and relentless determination from its competitors, who come from various countries and represent diverse boat classes.
The Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Race is not for the faint-hearted; it tests the resolve of crews and the capabilities of their powerboats. To withstand the grueling conditions, the boats are often designed with cutting-edge technology, incorporating advanced materials and innovative engineering solutions. These high-performance vessels are capable of reaching speeds in excess of 125 mph (200 km/h), making them the ultimate offshore machines.
The race attracts a wide array of competitors, ranging from seasoned professionals to ambitious amateurs, all vying for the honor of claiming prestigious trophies such as the Harmsworth Trophy, the Martini Trophy, or the Marathon Class Cup. Additionally, the race is part of the UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) Offshore Championship, which further elevates its status within the global powerboat racing community.
The Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Powerboat Race is more than just a test of speed and endurance; it also showcases the spirit of camaraderie among racers and the shared passion for the sport. This event, steeped in tradition and adrenaline, continues to captivate the hearts of powerboat enthusiasts and inspires the next generation of offshore racers.
In conclusion, the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Powerboat Race stands as a testament to the unyielding pursuit of excellence in offshore racing. It is a celebration of human determination, technological innovation, and the unbreakable bond that connects all those who dare to challenge the mighty waves of the English Channel.
The Long Road to Victory at Cowes Torquay Cowes and the Development of the Perfect Racing Machine:
Drew Langdon competed a total of 20 times in the legendary waters of Cowes Torquay Cowes, with 16 attempts under his belt before finally achieving his first victories. His journey to success was marked by determination, passion, and the relentless pursuit of the perfect racing machine. After triumphing for the first time in 2018, Drew managed to win the prestigious race a total of four times – in 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022. This impressive success was the result of years of effort and those 16 initial attempts, during which he tried various boats to find the ideal balance of speed and stability. His dedication and tenacity paid off, with 20 total race participations making his accomplishments even more remarkable.
Drew began his search for the perfect racing machine with a 23-foot Oke Mannerfelt RIB with a 200hp Mercury V6 outboard in his first Cowes Torquay Cowes entry in 2001.
He then progressed to a Scorpion 25-foot boat with two Mercury V6 150hp in 2002.
His third vessel was a 10-meter Buzzi RIB with two Mercury V6 300HP engines, named BuzziBullet.
Next, he moved on to a FB 40 SuperSport open with two Cummins QSB 480 hp diesel
As the fifth boat, he tried a 40-foot Fabio Buzzi with a canopy and two Seatek 660hp diesels.
After that, he switched to a 42-foot Fountain Evolution with two Sterling 750hp engines, another top-tier racing boat that offered its own advantages in terms of speed and handling.
Finally, Drew found the key to success with the impressive Outerlimits SV43 with two mercury racing 1075hp supercharged engines, a boat that combined the best features of its predecessors and allowed him to fully utilize his skills. In a breathtaking interplay of adrenaline, speed, and the power of the waves, Drew raced across the sea with his perfectly tuned Outerlimits SV43, securing his place in the history of Cowes Torquay Cowes
His determination and dedication to powerboat racing are testament to the fact that success is often the result of adaptability, perseverance, and tireless effort. Drew Langdon’s exciting successes leave no doubt that he is a true master of his craft and his name will continue to shine in powerboat racing.
The quality of the boats he experimented with over the years will always be remembered as an important part of his success story. The ability to adapt to different racing conditions and boat types demonstrates Langdon’s masterful control and technical prowess. Each success he achieves is the result of hard work, intense preparation, and a willingness to constantly refine his technique and knowledge. This relentless progress has made him a true champion and promises an even more exciting future in powerboat racing.
Drew Langdon’s impressive career shows that success in powerboat racing is a combination of talent, dedication, and the ability to consistently get the best out of oneself and the resources available. With numerous titles and records to his name, Drew has already proven that he is one of the best powerboat racers in the world.
Drew’s ambition continues to soar, as he sets his sights on breaking his own Cowes Torquay Cowes Time Record. In 2021, he achieved a remarkable milestone by securing the course record with a blazing time of 2 hours and 25 minutes, maintaining an astounding average speed of 94.7 mph. Now, driven by his unrelenting passion since childhood, the unwavering support of his family and dedicated team, and his determination and talent, Drew aims to surpass his own impressive achievement.
THE RACE COURSE
The race starts in Cowes on the Isle of Wight and heads westward to the Needles, a series of chalk cliffs that mark the westernmost point of the island. The boats then turn south and follow the coast of Dorset, passing through Lyme Bay and eventually arriving at Torquay in Devon. From there, the boats turn around and head back to Cowes, completing a total distance of 200 nautical miles
The route takes the participants through some of the most beautiful and challenging waters along the south coast of England. The boats have to navigate through rough seas, strong winds, and unpredictable weather conditions, making the race a true test of skill and endurance.
The course also takes the boats past several notable landmarks and locations, including:
- The Needles, a series of chalk cliffs that are a prominent feature of the western tip of the Isle of Wight.
- Portland Bill, a narrow promontory on the coast of Dorset that is notorious for its strong tides and currents.
- Lyme Bay, a large bay on the south coast of England that is known for its rough seas and challenging conditions.
- Start Point, a rocky headland on the south coast of Devon that marks the start of the English Channel.
- Berry Head, a prominent headland on the coast of Devon that offers stunning views of the surrounding coastline.
we can say the course of the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Powerboat Race is a challenging and exciting route that takes the participants through some of the most beautiful and demanding waters along the south coast of England.
THE HISTORY OF THE RACE
The Cowes-Torquay-Cowes (CTC) Powerboat Race has a long and storied history, dating back to its inception in 1961. The race was the brainchild of Sir Max Aitken, a British newspaper magnate and powerboat enthusiast who suggested to the Royal Yacht Squadron that a race be held from Cowes on the Isle of Wight to Torquay in Devon and back.
The first CTC race was held on September 23, 1961, and it attracted a field of seven boats. The race was won by Tommy Sopwith and his co-driver Peter Du Cane, who completed the course in their boat “Thunderbolt” in a time of 4 hours and 5 minutes.
The success of the first CTC race led to the establishment of the British Powerboat Racing Club (BPRC), which was responsible for organizing and promoting the race in the years that followed. The BPRC worked to build the profile of the race, and by the mid-1960s, the CTC race had become one of the most prestigious and challenging powerboat races in the world.
Over the years, the CTC race has seen some memorable moments. In 1972, the race was cancelled due to rough seas, and in 1978, only two boats finished due to extremely challenging conditions. In 2003, the CTC race was cancelled due to the Iraq War, and it was not held again until 2008.
Despite these challenges, the CTC race has continued to attract some of the best powerboat racers from around the world. The race has evolved over the years, with changes to the rules, the introduction of different classes of boats, and the addition of new technology and safety measures.
Today, the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Powerboat Race remains one of the most prestigious and challenging powerboat races in the world. The race attracts thousands of fans and spectators every year, and it is considered a true test of skill, endurance, and technological innovation. The history of the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Powerboat Race is a testament to the resilience, determination, and passion of powerboat enthusiasts around the world. It is a race that has evolved and adapted over the years, but one that remains true to its roots and continues to captivate and inspire powerboat enthusiasts everywhere
THE COWES-TORQUAY-COWES POWERBOAT RACE IS NOT ONLY ONE OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS AND CHALLENGING POWERBOAT RACES IN THE WORLD, BUT IT ALSO FEATURES SEVERAL COVETED TROPHIES THAT ARE AWARDED TO THE WINNERS OF THE RACE.
The esteemed Beaverbrook Trophy represents the pinnacle of success in the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes powerboat race, as it is awarded to the event’s victors. This highly coveted trophy epitomizes the dedication, skill, and passion required to excel in the competitive world of powerboat racing.Drew Langdon and his team take immense pride in having captured the prestigious Beaverbrook Trophy on four occasions. These triumphs reflect the unwavering commitment to excellence, as well as the ability to continually adapt and evolve in this challenging sport, demonstrated by both Langdon and his team members. Their success in securing the Beaverbrook Trophy serves as a testament to the hard work, determination, and expertise of the entire team.
The Montagu Trophy is a distinguished award in powerboat racing, presented to the boat that completes the race with the fastest average speed. Named in honor of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, a prominent figure in the early days of powerboat racing, this trophy has become a symbol of exceptional performance and skill.Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, a British Conservative politician and the founder of the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, played a significant role in the development of powerboat racing. The Montagu Trophy serves as a tribute to his contributions to the sport and honors the achievements of those who excel in this thrilling and demanding competition.
The BPRC International Trophy is a prestigious award in powerboat racing, specifically associated with the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race. This trophy is presented to the winner of the race in the International Class, which consists of competitors from various countries, adding an extra layer of excitement and challenge to the event. Crafted from silver, the BPRC International Trophy features a beautifully designed figure of a powerboat on top, highlighting the connection to the sport and the skill required to achieve victory. Winning this trophy is a significant accomplishment for any team, as it showcases their ability to compete at an international level and stand out among a diverse group of participants.
The prestigious Harmsworth Trophy, awarded to the boat that sets the fastest time in the race, has a rich history dating back to its inception in 1903. Named after newspaper magnate Sir Alfred Harmsworth, this trophy has become a symbol of excellence in powerboat racing. The Harmsworth Trophy was last awarded in 2018 as part of a series of races culminating in the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes event. We were honored to have won this distinguished trophy then, and as it has not been used since, it highlights the rarity and significance of this award. The Harmsworth Trophy is not frequently awarded, making our victory even more remarkable and memorable, as it is unlikely that we will have such an opportunity again.
EACH OF THESE TROPHIES HAS A UNIQUE HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE IN THE WORLD OF POWERBOAT RACING. THEY REPRESENT THE SKILL, DETERMINATION, AND DEDICATION OF THE PARTICIPANTS AND SERVE AS A TESTAMENT TO THE RICH HISTORY AND TRADITION OF THE COWES-TORQUAY-COWES POWERBOAT RACE.
Women in Offshore Powerboat Racing: Pioneers and Inspirations at the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Race and the British Powerboat Racing Club
Over the years, women have made significant contributions to offshore powerboat racing, particularly in the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race. Their determination and passion have turned them into pioneers and role models, paving the way for future generations of female racers.A standout figure in the history of the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race is Lady Violet Aitken, the wife of Sir Max Aitken, the founder of the British Powerboat Racing Club (BPRC) and the race itself. Lady Violet was an enthusiastic supporter and active participant in powerboat racing. Her involvement and presence have helped the sport grow over the years and have made the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race one of the most well-known and prestigious races in offshore powerboat racing.
Betty Cook was another significant woman in offshore powerboat racing. The British racer and businesswoman won several races in the 1970s and 1980s, including the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race. Cook was the first woman to be inducted into the Offshore Racing Hall of Fame and is considered a pioneer for women in offshore racing.These and many other women have enriched the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race and the British Powerboat Racing Club, contributing to the sport’s further development through their determination, skills, and passion. Their accomplishments and dedication also encourage other women to participate in offshore racing events and inspire the next generation of female offshore racers. The history of women in offshore powerboat racing, particularly in the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race and the British Powerboat Racing Club, demonstrates that they can be successful in a male-dominated environment. Their contributions to the sport are a testament to their pioneering spirit and their ability to drive change and pave the way for future generations of female racers.
THE ISLE OF WIGHT
The Isle of Wight is a stunningly beautiful location, with rolling hills, scenic coastlines, and picturesque villages. It is a popular destination for tourists, who come to enjoy the many outdoor activities available on the island, including hiking, cycling, and water sports.
The Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Powerboat Race is just one of many exciting events that take place on the island throughout the year. The race attracts competitors from around the world, who come to test their skills and endurance on the challenging 190-nautical mile course. The race begins in Cowes, on the northern tip of the island, and takes competitors across the English Channel to Torquay, on the south coast of England, before returning to Cowes. The course is known for its difficult conditions, including strong currents, changing tides, and challenging sea states, making it a true test of skill and endurance for even the most experienced powerboat racers.
In addition to the excitement of the race itself, visitors to the Isle of Wight can also experience the island’s unique culture and heritage. The local cuisine is a highlight, with fresh seafood, locally produced cheese and wine, and other regional specialties available throughout the island. Visitors can also explore the many historic sites on the island, including Osborne House, the former summer residence of Queen Victoria, and Carisbrooke Castle, a medieval fortress that played a key role in English history.
The Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Powerboat Race and the Isle of Wight offer a truly unique and unforgettable combination of natural beauty, culture, and thrilling sporting action. Whether you’re a powerboat racing enthusiast or simply looking to experience the best that the south coast of England has to offer, the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Powerboat Race and the Isle of Wight are not to be missed.
DISCOVERING THE COASTLINE FROM COWES TO TORQUAY
Along the coastline between the Isle of Wight and Torquay lies an impressive and diverse landscape, offering both historical and natural beauty. This majestic backdrop for the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race adds an extra dimension of fascination to the event.
From the Solent, the picturesque waterway between the Isle of Wight and the English mainland, the course leads along the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its breathtaking cliffs and fossils. The cliffs rise like ancient guardians over the sea, telling stories of bygone times and geological wonders.
Further west lie the golden sandy beaches of Bournemouth and Poole, a paradise for sun-worshippers and water sports enthusiasts. The two towns offer a lively atmosphere and a wealth of leisure opportunities, ranging from luxurious spas and restaurants to thrilling water parks.
The coastlines of Dorset and Devon present a variety of enchanting fishing villages and small harbors, surrounded by the rolling hills and green meadows of the rural landscape. Places like Lyme Regis and Dartmouth are known for their historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and inviting pubs, offering visitors a glimpse into traditional English life.
Before reaching Torquay, the racecourse passes the stunning South Devon coastline, known for its picturesque bays, emerald-green hills, and pristine beaches. The coastal landscape offers spectacular views and a rich maritime heritage that has endured for centuries.
Upon reaching Torquay, the boats turn around just before the harbor to commence the return journey to Cowes. This turning point challenge adds an extra level of excitement and thrill to the event, as the participants of the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race showcase their skill and endurance to successfully complete the entire course.
LEGENDS AND STORYS ABOUT THE RACE
According to one legend, the race was started in 1961 as a result of a bet between two wealthy businessmen who were arguing about the fastest way to travel from Cowes to Torquay. The two men decided to settle the argument by holding a powerboat race, and the rest is history.
ONE LEGEND TELLS THE STORY OF A MYSTERIOUS “GHOST BOAT” THAT HAS BEEN SEEN ON THE WATER DURING THE RACE. ACCORDING TO SOME REPORTS, THE BOAT APPEARS OUT OF NOWHERE, RACES ALONGSIDE THE OTHER COMPETITORS FOR A SHORT TIME, AND THEN DISAPPEARS AGAIN WITHOUT A TRACE. NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE IF THE GHOST BOAT IS REAL OR JUST A LEGEND, BUT MANY COMPETITORS HAVE REPORTED SEEING STRANGE AND UNEXPLAINED PHENOMENA ON THE WATER DURING THE RACE.
another one legend involves the infamous “Cowes Wash,” a stretch of water near the start of the race that is known for its unpredictable and turbulent currents. According to the legend, the Cowes Wash is cursed by a vengeful sea goddess who seeks to punish those who dare to race on her waters. Many competitors have reported feeling a sense of dread and unease as they approach the Cowes Wash, and some have even claimed to have seen strange and otherworldly creatures lurking beneath the surface of the water.
The Mysterious Portland Triangle
The sea holds many mysteries, and the Portland Triangle is one of them. This section of the Cowes Torquay Cowes Powerboat racecourse poses a unique challenge for the participants. In this captivating narrative, we follow Drew Langdon, an experienced and professional powerboat racer, who over the years has had some remarkable and dramatic encounters in this dreaded and mysterious section.
Fire Onboard in the Bewitched Triangle
It was a testing day before the race, and Drew Langdon and his son Ali found themselves in the Portland Triangle when suddenly a gearbox overheated. Flames burst out in the engine room. Despite the seemingly bewitched surroundings, Langdon saved the boat and returned to Cowes. Yet, fate had other plans, and on race day, the fire ignited again. Langdon preserved the boat from a catastrophic end
Collision on the High Seas in the Mysterious Triangle
Some years later, Drew and Ali found themselves in the rough waters of the Portland Triangle again. Their FB 40, the ‘Silverline’, seemed to cut through the waves like an arrow when suddenly the unthinkable happened: A competitor went completely out of control and rammed them. The boat groaned and creaked, but thanks to Langdon’s professionalism and experience, both survived this dramatic collision in the mysterious Triangle.
Lost and Found in the Enigmatic Triangle
In yet another year, with Giancarlo Cangano by his side, Drew Langdon experienced the unpredictability of the Portland Triangle once again. Amid the raging waves, one of the drives broke and tore a large hole in the hull of their boat. The sea seemed to want to swallow them, but at the last moment, they managed to escape to a rescue boat. The night, however, brought unexpected hope as a local salvage service found their boat in the dark waves and safely returned it to Weymouth.
Triumph Over Misfortune in the Enchanted Triangle:
After a year of rebuilding efforts, Drew Langdon and his new co-pilot Miles Jennings took on the challenge of the CTC race again. With determination and self-confidence, they reached the notorious Portland Triangle when suddenly the steering pump failed. Yet, fate had mercy this time, and they were able to continue the race. With unbroken fighting spirit and their professionalism, they repaired their boat in Torquay and not only won the race back to Cowes but also set an impressive record time in the process.
The Portland Triangle, with its dramatic encounters and seemingly inexplicable events, remains a mysterious and fascinating element of the Cowes Torquay Cowes Powerboat racecourse. Drew Langdon’s experiences in this enigmatic section bear witness to the unpredictability of these waters and the necessity of professionalism and determination to successfully master the challenges. Despite the difficulties and seemingly bewitched surroundings, Langdon has proven that with courage, perseverance, and skill, even the most mysterious waters can be conquered. The Portland Triangle remains a place full of mysteries and legends that continue to shape the thrill and fascination of the Cowes Torquay Cowes Powerboat Race and inspire participants to write their own stories in this enchanted section of the course.