|Round Britan 2008|
On June 21st in Portsmouth, England, after 18 months of planning, international offshore powerboating took another step forward as 48 boats lined-up for the start of the Round Britain Race, a gruelling 8-leg, 10-day event, contested over 1,344 nautical miles in Britain’s notoriously difficult seas. Visiting all four countries of the British Isles, it was probably the largest entry for a marathon powerboat race for over 40 years!
The first Round Britain Race - the Daily Telegraph Round Britain - took place in 1969 and was won by the great Finnish rally driver, Timo Makinen. Fifteen years later, the most decorated of all powerboaters, Italian racer and boat designer, Fabio Buzzi took the honours.
The third edition, following a send-off from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, would once again demand human courage, physical endurance and a willingness to push man and machine to the limits, the foundations of a sport that has continued to gather an unexplained mystique throughout its 105 year history.
The competitors came from far and wide and ranged from European powerboating’s biggest names and most powerful boats to a collection of ordinary motorboaters in production and classic craft. All of them faced the challenge of completing the course, for some that challenge would prove to be a mountain.
The pick of the crop in the historic fleet was the 40 year old GEE, a Jim Wynn designed and Souter built