The Thunderbolt Challenge Trophy

>>29th August I am pleased to announce (belatedly) that the 2nd major trophy to be presented to the historic class racers this year was the “Thunderbolt Challenge Trophy” won by the team of Charlie and Tom Williams Hawkes and their Revenger TFO.

The trophy was a last minute addition to the prize list of the Cowes Torquay as it was still being constructed the previous week. I had long ago decided that salvaged items from Thunderbolt’s restoration could be turned in to a trophy representing the sports first winner of the first race and this is the end item.

I will explain all the details built into the trophy.
The main section is a remnant of her original transom from the port topside where her nameplate was.
The figure 3 cut into the end was her race number.
The back of this section is left unfinished to show the extent of the rot suffered in this area.
The shape is as the boat yard cut it out but it has been tidied up and edges shaped.
The plaque on the right is a reproduction of the 1961 finishers plaque.
The stripes are her racing colours.
The chrome support is a piece of a stanchion bolt.
The vertical row of dots are screw shanks from salvaged screws and represent the RYS start line.

The base is a piece of ply from new wood used to rebuild the cabin, its shape is as it was cut, fortunately it resembles the no 1 representing her 1st place and it also points east the direction of the first race over the RYS start line.
Lastly her name in Blue and Gold as it was and is again.
I sincerely hope that next year, the trophy will be awarded with a cash prize. It may not be silver but it is unique and hopefully will become a sought after prize by the historic entrants.

The Race.

>>29th August It was touch and go when P1 reneged on the running of this famous race after holding the licence for 5 years but into the breach stepped Mike Lloyd in conjunction with the BPRC and the day was saved, 28 entries took the full course to Ore Rock and back after starting from North Head Buoy off Hurst.
The unusual start location was due to difficulties with the Solent authorities and the “ELF and Safety brigade…..still the water was good the wind fair and there was sun till about 11 am when a weather front moved in, unfortunately not enough to upset the sea conditions which favoured the greyhounds and left the big guys playing catch up, most noticeably of course Gee, Team 747 and Ocean Pirate but there was a newcomer to the Historic class, the Williams-Hawkes brothers in their 25 ft Revenger TFO.

Cowes Torquay Cowes start 2008 – Photo Beken of Cowes

The other major dice of interest to club members was that between the beautifully prepared Cinzano no 558 and Silverline , on the return leg as they entered the Solent it was Cinzano that held 4th place and she was a sight to behold with a rooster tail of the like never seen before but then drama, relying soley on their electronic plotters they shot through the finish gate off Cowes but received no flag! They had done a Lucky Moppie and missed the marker, although this was questionable, there was a fast tide running and one of the Markers was lying flat in the water under control of a safety boat, they realised their error, took it on the chin, spun round and re-entered the gate behind Silverline to take 5th not bad for a famous classic from the early 80’s but a shame after such a good showing.

The drama continued as GEE and 747 approached the line after being more than evenly matched in the light conditions and both stopping to assist a competitor in distress, as they approached the finish gate neck and neck , 747 suddenly stalled, Gee swept passed as 747 picked up again but to no avail as 747 finished in a time 1 second faster than Gee! Both teams though had a shock awaiting them when it transpired that the Williams-Hawkes brothers in the 20 year old 25 foot Revenger TFO had found ideal conditions and romped home in 14th place.

First boat home was another unique craft, Fabio Buzzi’s bewinged monohull, CESA, now masquerading as Red FPT.

Due to the vast array of trophies offered for this re staging of the race the old girls walked away with some substantial bits of silver ware.

Cinzano took “King Georges Fund for Sailors Trophy” for best presented entry.

Cinzano Tim Grimshaw, Nik Keyser and Eric Smilie – Photo Beken of Cowes

GEE took “First Lady Driver” for Shelly Jory.

GEE – Photo Beken of Cowes

Team 747 took the “Lombard North Central Trophy” for Concours d’Elegance.

747 – Photo Beken of Cowes

TFO took the brand new Thunderbolt Challenge Trophy.

TFO – Photo Beken of Cowes

Ok you guys it is now down to you get those golden oldies ready for the new season lets show them what were made of!

Thanks to all competitors and the organisers for putting the CTC back on the map!

Mike James