Class 3 racers look to capture inaugural UKOPRA Championships

The 48.50 NM Cowes Poole Cowes race which starts at 09:45 on Sunday morning will be the third and final round of the UKOPRA Class 3 Championship.

The United Kingdom Offshore Powerboat Racing Association (UKOPRA) was set-up last winter to act as a sanctioning body for ‘Open Water Offshore Powerboat Racing’ in the United Kingdom.

The new association has already overseen races at Poole and Falmouth, this weekend at Cowes it will see its inaugural champions crowned in 3 sub divisions of Class 3, A/B, X and N.

The 17 strong field lost the 2016 UIM 3A World Champion, Jack Bobin last weekend.

Bobin who won the first round at Poole overall back in June, dislocated his shoulder whilst wake-boarding and didn’t pass the strict UKOPRA fitness test to compete on Sunday.

His replacement in the #A26 Motorvated Racing Phantom 19G hull is none other than the 2014 UIM 3A World Champion, John Guille from Sark.

John Guille winning the UIM 3A World Championship in 2014

Guille not only drove the same hull to victory 4 years ago, he also built it and designed the radical steps that give the boat its speed. Showing him the way to Poole and back will be Surrey housewives’ favourite, Barry Culver, a man he last raced with 10 years ago.

Bobin’s father, Kerry currently lies second in the 3A/B Championship in the only catamaran in the series.

His co-driver, Errin Butterfield will make his third trip to Britain this year to compete in the UKOPRA Championship.
Butterfield from Bermuda will be the first racer from the British island territory in the North Atlantic to have raced at Cowes in its 58-year history.

Traveling to Cowes from another island, Guernsey, will be lady racer Suzanne Cosgrave.

Sue has a new driver this weekend, Gareth Keast, however she lies third behind Butterfield in the 3 A/B co-driver’s championship and just 54 points behind.

In the Class 3X division, Graham Reeder and Martin Foster lead Rob Lister and Nick Crouch by 300 points.

Graham Reeder and Martin Foster lead the 3X Championship Photo: Chris Davies

Lister and Crouch prefer it rough or preferably a hurricane blowing to show the sea-keeping qualities of their vintage aluminium Forgecraft hull.

Finally, Father and Son team, Brian and Thomas Pelham team have already wrapped up the 3N Championship, however they will face new competition on Sunday.

Stewart Eyre and Lawrence Philp have re-engined their 30’ Phantom, Warlord and the oldest man in the race and a perennial Cowes favourite, Alan Goodwin teams-up with Tristan Ormiston and Colleen Sweeney in Mr Noisy.

Alan Goodwin is the oldest competitor in the race Photo: Nigel Barrett

The fleet will also boast 2 ‘Invitation’ entries, Lucci Levi and her partner Alister Langdon will be competing in LACUNA Offshore Racing and another FB Design hull, Vintage Torque, will be crewed by Frank Rose and Vee Ganjavian.

You can follow the race via the Cowes Torquay Cowes Website.

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