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Cowes Classic (Cowes - Torquay - Cowes Powerboat Race)

Sporting Event

Cowes Yacht Haven
Isle Of Wight
PO31 7AJ

Tel: + 44 (0)1983 290558

Add Cowes Classic (Cowes - Torquay - Cowes Powerboat Race) to your Itinerary

Cowes Classic (Cowes - Torquay - Cowes Powerboat Race)

58 years of Powerboat Racing at Cowes

This Bank Holiday weekend (25th - 26th August 2018) will see the 58th year of Offshore Powerboat Racing at Cowes.

This is the world’s most prestigious offshore powerboat race, The Cowes to Torquay, Torquay to Cowes.

The Cowes - Torquay - Cowes race covers a distance of 190 nautical miles. The course record speed was set in 2015 by Peter Dredge, Simon Powell, Mal Crease and David Gandy driving Vector Martini Rosso at a staggering average speed of 94.55 mph.

Cowes is recognized as the birthplace of international powerboat racing. It is therefore fitting that every year some of the biggest, brightest, loudest and most powerful boats in the world assemble to re-enact the famous race from Cowes to Torquay then turn around and race back from Torquay to Cowes where the first race was hosted in 1961.

The format is a bonus for powerboat racing fans on the mainland as it provides a chance for viewing of the boats from Torquay’s Haldon Pier between the races. Access to the pontoons will be limited to officials and race teams but drivers will meet with spectators on the pier.

There are also several vantage points on the headlands of the South Coast of England andTorquay Bay where fans can watch the boats both arrive in Torquay and race back toward Cowes.

Dawn in Cowes will break to the sound of roaring engines and activity on the water will be evident from approximately 08:45 when the racing fleet will parade pass Cowes Green before mustering to the east of the Cowes Harbour entrance. Race boats will then pass at speed in a convoy past the Snowden sailing mark before starting the actual race to the sound of the cannon between The Royal Yacht Squadron line and the north of Gurnard North Cardinal Buoy at 09:30, the main race will be followed by the popular Cowes-Poole-Cowes race start at 09:45 .

The fastest race boats should be approaching Berry Head by 10.30 am and will continue on northward to a mark at the Ore Stone before turning and heading into the finish off Haldon Pier at Torquay. At Torquay the boats will form up and parade past Haldon Pier at 13.00 before lining up for the race start back to Cowes at 14.00pm.

Depending on the conditions the fastest boats should appear back in the Solent from three for a finish off the Gurnard North Cardinal Mark at Egypt Point.

The boats will be located at the wet pits at each end of the race course and excellent viewing opportunities will be available for spectators. Remember to allow enough time to get back to your favourite vantage point once the boats start their engines.

The races form two parts of the RYA National Marathon Championship with the Cowes to Torquay being RYA National Marathon Championship (Heat 3) plus UIM International Ordinary Race. The Torquay to Cowes being RYA National Marathon Championship (Heat 4) and UIM International Ordinary Race.

Viewing Places and Times


09:30 and 15:00 to17:30- Egypt Point, Isle of Wight

09:35 to 10:00 and 14:45 to 17:30 – Hurst Castle

09:35 to 10:00 and 14:45 to 17:30 – Fort Victoria, Isle of Wight

09:40 to 10:10 – Bournemouth & Boscombe Piers

09:55 to 11:35 and 14:30 to 17:15 –  Anvil Point

09:55 to 11:35 and 14:30 to 17:15 –  St Albans Head

10:00 to 11:45 and 14:30 to 17:00 – Portland Bill

10:45 to 12:40 and 14:00 to 14:30 – Berry Head

10:45 to 12:40 and 14:00 to 14:30 – Daddyhole Plain, Torquay

10:30 to 14:00 Haldon Pier, Torquay


Cowes – Poole – Cowes

09:45 and 10:20 to 12:00 – Egypt Point, Isle of Wight

09:50 to 12:00 – Hurst Castle

09:50 to 12:00 – Fort Victoria, Isle of Wight

09:55 to 11:00 – Bournemouth & Boscombe Piers

*All timings are approximate and subject to change depending on weather conditions Access to the Cowes Yacht Haven, Cowes and the pontoons at Haldon Pier, Torquay is limited to race crews and officials.

To find out more check out the Race Website and our Facebook page

Photo Credit: Chris Davies (photo 2 & 3).

Opening Times

Open (26 Aug 2018)



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