Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Round Britain Powerboat Race Set for 2012

Often said to be to be "the toughest endurance powerboat race in the world," the next incarnation of the famous Round Britain Powerboat Race is set to run in conjunction with the London Olympic Games in 2012. Unlike previous events, which were run in 1969, 1984 and last year, in which competitors navigated through the Caledonian Canal, the 2012 race will involve a complete, bone-crunching circumnavigation of Britain.

The race is not JUST about speed, it's about courage...and the endurance of man amnd machine. The course is a grueling and at times dangerous 1,600 miles around some of the most treacherous waters of the UK. The 2012 race, which is organized by the British Powerboat Racing Club and which has the support of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), will probably be limited to about 50 boats. The final route, number of classes and various race categories will be finalized as race time draws closer.

PHOTO CREDIT: www.round-britain2008.co.uk

One definite change for 2012 is that the race will start and finish in London, to enable it to interact with the London Summer Olympics of 2012. The last race, staged last June, attracted a "new generation of competitors," according to race organiser Neil McGrigor, who said "were keen to revive genuine offshore powerboat racing in open waters." His hopes for 2012 go even further:
"My intention is to make the 2012 Round Britain the most memorable powerboat race ever staged," McGrigor declared. "With the world’s spotlight on London for the Olympic Games we have the opportunity to make the race a showpiece event on and off the water for the entire UK boating community."
The 2008 race was also marked by numerous DNFs and one actual sinking. Forty-five boats completed, with a Greek team aboard a Fabio Buzzi-designed hull, powered by a triple rig of 440hp FPT Iveco engines claiming a hard-won victory in 20 hours, 36 minutes, 47 seconds.

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