Ace British powerboat driver Tommy Sopwith set an unbeatable pace to win the International Daily Express Powerboat Race from Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, to Torquay, on the coast of Devon and back.
GV Miss Enfield II passing camera
MV PAN Boats racing (2 shots)
MV PAN Avenger passes
STV Miss Enfield II at speed
Aerial View of race
MV Miss Enfield crosses finishing line (2 shots)
MV Winner docks
MV Red Tornado into port
MV Winning team celebrate with champagne (Sopwith in middle)
SPORT: POWERBOAT RACE
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Background: Ace British powerboat driver Tommy Sopwith set an unbeatable pace to win the International Daily Express Powerboat Race from Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, to Torquay, on the coast of Devon and back. Sopwith in his all aluminium 31 foot boat covered the 236 mile (385 kilometres) in just four hours two minutes -- an average speed of 58.5 miles an hour (94 k.p.h.).
The forecasters had gloomily predicted high seas for the race, but the weather changed for the better and fifty-nine starters set out for the trophy. Sopwith;'s new craft, Miss Enfield II (number 400), got off to a good start, but on the outward leg he fought a tough dual with Italy's Francesco Cosentino in Red Tornado (number 89). At one stage the Italian, who leads the world powerboat drivers' championship, was in front.
On the home straight Sopwith touched 80 miles an hour (128.7 kms) and was ten minutes ahead of the field when he crossed the finishing line to take his third victory in the event in its ten-year history.
Another British entry, Surfury (number III) finished third, four minutes after Red Tornado.
SYNOPSIS: Fifty-nine starters made up the international filed competing for one of Britain;s major powerboat trophies: the Daily Express Offshore Powerboat Race. Conditions proved for better than the forecasters feared and Tommy Sopwith -0- number 400 -- set a cracking pace. The race -- an annual event -- is off the English south coast and covers 236 miles (385 kms).
Avenger -- last year's winner with a familiar number -- soon fell behind Sopwith's new boat as he reached speeds in excess of 80 miles an hour (128.7 kms). Miss Enfield the Second has twin engines and is aluminium hulled. By the turn Sopwith was well ahead.
Miss Enfield soared home in 4 hours two minutes -- ten minutes in front of her nearest rival.
It was Sopwith's third win in the ten year history of the race.
Second was Red Tornado driven by Italian champion Francesco Cosentino.
A champagne celebration for the winners who collected more than GBP 1250 in prize money.