|The Honda Formula 4-Stroke Powerboat Series, the world's largest offshore
powerboat series will make a return to Cowes for the seventh and eighth rounds of the 2007 championship over the August bank holiday weekend (25/26 August). The series will form part of the Cowes Powerboat Festival which is set to provide spectators a feast of spectacular racing from some of the top domestic and international championships in the powerboat world. The HF4S fleet will no doubt attract huge attention, as it will provide the largest fleets in the festival.
The series first visited Cowes when it was introduced back in 1999. After a seven year absence, HF4S made a welcome return to the Isle of Wight in 2006. Now in its ninth year, its popularity is expanding year-on-year with nearly 40 teams competing in 2007 in front of ever-increasing spectator numbers.
After some spectacular action packed racing in Lowestoft last month, this penultimate race weekend is sure to produce a few surprises as competitors battle it out on the Solent's variable sea conditions. Although Cowes traditionally serves up more sunshine that any other UK resort, the Solent has often been compared to a washing machine as currents bounce off the island and mainland, creating unpredictable swells that test boats and crews to the max.
Cowes will also host the return for two Honda Formula 4-Stroke special guests, Chris Bartlett and Mike Urquhart, who are flying halfway around-the-world to compete in the 150hp class. The pair, who won New Zealand's Formula Honda Offshore Powerboat Championship, have been crowned this year's Kiwi champions for the second time in a row resulting once again in the opportunity to race in the UK as part of their prize.
This year sees a number of local Hampshire based teams competing in the series. Keep a look out for 150hp team 'Team Purple', and new all girl team 'Delmar Group' in the 225hp category, not forgetting 2005 winners Shelley Jory and Libby Keir in 'Team Raymarine'. "We can't wait to get back on the water this weekend," commented team driver Shelley Jory. "Cowes is so close to home and has always been a favourite of ours. We always get a great reaction from the crowd and we're looking forward to hopefully
doing them proud."
"We are delighted to be back in Cowes for the third time in the series' history," said Martin Sanders, General Manager of Honda (UK) Power Equipment. "It's fantastic to
be competing on an island that is so widely regarded for its maritime sporting heritage."