Powerboat P1, the international marine motorsport promoter, and the British Powerboat Racing Club (BPRC) have jointly announced a new partnership for this year’s Cowes Torquay Cowes offshore powerboat race that sees P1 provide marketing, communications and sponsorship support for the 63rd staging of the famous event in August.

Based in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, the British Powerboat Racing Club organizes the Cowes Torquay race which has been running since 1961. This was the first powerboat race outside the USA and is the longest running race in the world. Held every year over the August Bank Holiday weekend with international teams competing in different classes, the race covers a challenging 210-mile course along the south coast of England. Boats reach speeds in excess of 100 mph, with the fleet racing
non-stop to Torquay on the South Devon coast, where the teams will stop for approximately 90 minutes to the delight of local crowds, before returning non-stop to Cowes.

Earlier this month, Powerboat P1 announced details of a unique agreement with Experience Kissimmee that sees the world-famous tourism destination in Central Florida sponsor both UIM Class 1 offshore racing and this year’s Cowes Torquay Cowes event. “We are thrilled with the evolution of our established partnership with P1 and joining the historic and prestigious Cowes endurance race in the UK presents another exciting opportunity for us to spotlight Kissimmee and its family-friendly attractions in one of our top international visitor markets,” said DT Minich, President/CEO of Experience Kissimmee.

Since the company was founded in 2002, P1 has staged more than 700 marine motorsport races in 19 countries on four continents. “With our worldwide head office in England and our international race headquarters in Florida less than 40 miles from Kissimmee, these twin partnerships are an exciting development for us," said P1 CEO  Azam Rangoonwala. "Our role will focus on the wider digital marketing and social media opportunity this famous event presents and on defining the value proposition going forward. We will aim to maintain and build existing partnerships, both commercial and media, and to extend the reach of the communications program.”

“We are delighted to be working with Powerboat P1 and Experience Kissimmee this year for the running of the longest, toughest and most famous offshore powerboat race in the world," said Christian Toll, Vice Chairman of the BPRC. "The team at P1 brings a wealth of top-level racing experience. Following tradition, the newly-named Cowes Powerboat Festival will be held over the Bank Holiday weekend in late August and this year will see three races staged over two days. The BPRC, Powerboat P1 and Experience Kissimmee very much look forward to welcoming all competitors and spectators to the ultimate in powerboating activity.”

The racing fleet will assemble at Cowes Yacht Haven for scrutineering and safety inspection on Friday 23 August. The Cowes Torquay Cowes race will start at 9.30 the following morning (Saturday 24 August) followed immediately afterwards by the Cowes Poole Cowes race at 10 a.m. Both races will start off the Squadron Line, Egypt Point, in the Solent. Sunday will see the start of the Round the Island Race at 10.00am, a unique event that the founders of the BPRC started in 1968 for all sizes of both race and leisure boats, old and new.

The President of the BPRC is Steve Curtis MBE, considered by many to be the best international powerboat racer of all time. The multiple world champion, who won his first Class 1 World Championship title in 1985 at the age of 21, would often watch the Cowes Torquay Cowes event with his father, Clive. “It’s always been a big part of my life,” explained Steve, “and my father won the race in 1969. To have the race back under the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) banner and partnering with P1 is a great move and exciting for powerboat racing in the UK. Remember that this is the most famous marathon race in the world—it’s been running every year since 1961. Racing fans can now follow it on social media from anywhere in the world and we are planning on building the event into a true spectacle over the next few years. The hard work has already started.”

Powerboat P1 promotes the UIM Class 1 World Championship and one of Steve’s Class 1 racing colleagues in the United States is 29-year-old Alex Pratt from Florida. Alex travelled to England last year to compete in the Cowes Torquay Cowes race with his English friend Rob Lockyer and he will return in August. “I’m very happy to see P1 partnering with the BPRC, said Alex. “They do an outstanding job and we as racers truly appreciate their role in the sport. I will be back on the island to compete in the Good Boy Vodka boat and I’m hugely optimistic about our chances!”

Photo credits:
Race fleet leaving Cowes: Malc Attrill
Silverline Team in race action: Anthony Hadaway