Press Release 14th April 2019

Press Release – 14th April 2019

Embargoed until authorised by UKOPRA / COPC

Following the Classic Offshore Powerboat Club AGM at RAF Yacht Club today a presentation was held at their invite from UKOPRA to publish their new classes for historic racing which take immediate effect.

COPC as an existing avid supporter of the regenerated offshore racing scene in the UK had prior to that presentation formalised their affiliation with UKOPRA by unanimous decision in order to allow event organisation under their sanction.

Much work has gone on in the past months and UKOPRA are extremely grateful to the committee of COPC for their input and assistance in creating the new (old?).

Class 4 Historic

Sub Classes for Class 4 are as follows with offshore general rules to apply.

  • Runabout – Pre 1990 design to a maximum of 115 HP and 21 ft boat length.
  • Cruiser – Pre 1990 design with a maximum speed of 50 knots to be upheld.
  • Purpose designed – Pre 1990 design with a maximum speed of 60 knots to be upheld.

The aim is for historic boats to compete on the same courses as existing UKOPRA Offshore class boats with a reduced distance covered to reflect the need to preserve the historic equipment.

The points system to be allocated to this class of racing will take a form of only 25% coming from final race position with the remainder awarded to criteria relating to Presentation, Age, Spirit, Quality of restoration, Provenance etc.

In addition to the above the publication of new UIM rules relating to Pleasure Navigation now allows the following UIM Group B compliant boats to enter our offshore classes as follows.

  • UIM Promotion Class can enter UKOPRA 3A/B
  • UIM Production Class can enter UKOPRA 3X
  • UIM Super boat Sport S1 and S2 can enter UKOPRA 3N

Minimum levels of equipment carried will be as referred to in the UKOPRA general rules.

Records Weekend

With COPC now formally affiliated they are keen to run an additional event this year and have agreed to host

Performance Records

Event Organiser – Classic Offshore Powerboat Club.

Sanctioning body – UKOPRA

Date – To be advised but provisionally a weekend in late September / early October.

Location – To be advised although the Freshwater area of the Solent is favoured subject to permissions.

Eligibility – All UKOPRA classes with a minimum of two fully licenced offshore licence holders in control.

Course Measurement – Will be over 1 statute mile to be run in both directions and an average speed taken for the two runs.

There will be the opportunity for marine manufacturers to be measured subject to a suitable application and with a minimum of two UKOPRA licence holders in control of the vessel.

Whilst there is no requirement to be a member of any of our affiliated race organisers to take part in activities we do recommend you support them and any potential event sponsors would be gratefully welcomed.

2019 Poole Bay 100




Registration of vessels for any of the above classes will be opened on Monday 15th April 2019 which will add the owner to our databases for email contact.

Please subscribe to for further updates.

Sponsors interested in being involved with the series as a whole should in the first instance contact

Sad News for those who remember JACK LUSTED, Class 3 offshore Racer.

We are sad to report the passing of Jack Lusted ( Sorcerer Class 3 – No. 75 Jersey Cow ).

The funeral is on Monday, 11th June, at 2pm (1400hrs).
Harwood Park Crematorium,
Watton Road,
Stevenage, Herts.

The family are looking for someone with a Thames based boat, who could assist in Jack’s ashes being scattered from Putney Bridge.

If anyone can assist, please contact either Mike James, Commodore, or Martin Napier, Secretary.


Marathon Classes

1. We are hoping to stage two Marathon races over the powerboat weekend:
· The Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race on Friday 24 August, and
· The Cowes 100 race on Sunday 26 August

2. As you are aware, the CTC event is already part of the RYA Marathon Championship series. The RYA has also confirmed that the Cowes 100 race (Cowes to Portland and back) will be added to this series.

3. We are hoping to have the CTC race start just off Cowes. This is still in the planning stage but as the event will be held on Friday, rather than Sunday, this could play an important part in the final decision.

4. The Cowes 100 start on Sunday morning, will be off North Head (as in 2010 and 2011).

5. Scrutineering for CTC will take place on 22 and 23 August; drivers’ briefing will take place at 17.30 hrs on Thursday 23 August. Drivers’ briefing for the Cowes 100 will take place at 17.30 hrs on Saturday 25 August.

British Club Class Championship

6. The Cowes-Poole-Cowes ‘club’ race will take place on Sunday 26 August, starting off North Head (as in 2010 and 2011).

7. The RYA has confirmed that the Cowes-Poole-Cowes race will be added to the British Club Class Championship series.

8. Scrutineering for the CPC will take place on 24 and 25 August; drivers’ briefing will take place at 17.30 hrs on Saturday 25 August.

Appeal for Safety Boats

9. In order to get this race approved, we need a large fleet of safety boats. If you can help I would, of course, be delighted to hear from.


Mike Mantle
Race Director
Cowes Classic Powerboat Event 2012
Mobile: +44 7973 17 87 38
Address: Lake Farm, 147 Lake Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 4LQ

SURFRIDER…where now?

It is a fact that old racing cars and likewise race boats once uncompetitive are consigned to the bin! But whereas there has been a massive industry built up around historic racecars in the past 20 years, historic race boats are an entirely different breed especially in theUK. We are in danger of losing many significant craft without which the sport we not be what it is today worldwide. Of the winning craft from the first decade of the Cowes-Torquay we have 3 fully useable craft of which only one remains here in the UK, plus 1 museum exhibit. Two have been lost to watery graves, one is a rotten hulk, one needs another major restoration, one has gone to Italy for restoration and the last had vanished. That winner was Surfrider. So it is refreshing to find that maybe another significant craft has possibly survived albeit in the USA but lets go back to the beginning of this particular story… 

It was on August Bank Holiday 1964 that a battle royal was played out in the Cowes-Torquay Powerboat Race between Dick Bertram and the Brothers Gardner both driving race prepped Bertram 31 hulls. Bertram had motored up through the French Canal system with his family on board after competing in Italy and Europe to take part in the race. The Gardner’s had upgraded their previous Bertram 25 “Scorpion” to the new 31 footer “Surfrider” which had the same engines as Bertram’s boat.

Lucky Moppie


In a flat calm race at speeds averaging near 50 mph for the race Bertram’s “Lucky Moppie” and “Surfrider” swopped the lead many times between Cowes and the finish in Torquay with Dick Bertram taking the initial lead after the start. The climax of the race was played out in front of the thousands of spectators gathered at the finish when both boats entered Torbay with literally yards between them. Bertram opened the throttles as far as he could in an effort to shake of Surfrider and it looked like the white Bertram 31 would defeat the pale blue sister boat scoring a first win for the USA in this now legendary race. As he crossed the line it suddenly dawned on him when he heard no gun that he was the wrong side of the buoy… but it was too late and Surfrider swept past the desperately circling Bertram to take the Beaverbrook Trophy. 



The following year the Gardner’s were back with the now renowned Surfury and little was known of what happened to Surfrider… but now thanks to the marvels of the internet some more information has surfaced. It transpires that she was sold to American racer Bob Nordskog, as per this post on the Bertram 31 website…

“According to the book “Searace” by John Crouse, the 1964 Cowes-Torquay powerboat race on August 15, 1964, was won by the Bertram 31 “Surfrider” powered by twin 400 HP turbo-charged Daytona engines. It was owned/driven by Englishmen Charles and James Gardner who were identified as “friends and customers of Dick Bertram”. Dick Bertram finished second in his 31 “Lucky Moppie” (he crossed the finish line first, but passed on the wrong side of the finish boat). Bob Nordskog (publisher of Powerboat Magazine) bought Surfrider and raced it to a 2nd in the ’66 Long Beach-San Francisco race and a 3rd in the ’67 Catalina Challenge. That’s the last reference I could find on Surfrider in Crouse’s comprehensive book on the history of offshore powerboat racing”…

But what is even more interesting is the previous post…

This was posted over on the 25bertram site.
Is it a Bert??
Unfortunately the link is long since gone but the first part of the reply was this…

That boat was on Yachtworld 8-10 years ago with about a dozen good photos. Best I could tell it is one of the Bertram 31s that was built by the factory specifically to compete on the ocean racing circuit.

Now bearing in mind these posting were made in 2009 it must be presumed that in 2000/1 Surfury was still around…

But then.
That’s funny, this listing has just expired. Wonder if it sold?

This is where the detective work has to begin and it highlights the fact that dotted around the world must be many of the craft that took part in these early races and most, probably looking for a good home! I have tracked down one very grainy picture of her in the 1966 race Long Beach to SF but am hoping the Nordskog family may have a picture of her in her USA spec! I am also hoping that Ian Saunders who owns and restored the 25ft Bertram raceboat “Paper Tiger” may be able, through his American contacts to track her down. It would be good to know if she is still around for as now we all know early race boats with history, are as rare as hens teeth!.

The Story of the 31

The Bertram 31 was a development of “Moppie” a prototype wooden Ray Hunt 30 footer designed for Dick Bertram to race in the Miami Nassau, that led to the 1961 31ft Glass Moppie raced by Sam Griffith and with the famous race no 88. Max Aitken bought Glass Moppie had a cabin fitted by Bruce Campbell’s yard and she was raced the following year. Glass Moppie was replaced by the new 31ft “Blue Moppie” also no 88 and raced again by Sam Griffith, her hull currently resides at Universal Marine Hamble awaiting restoration. Blue Moppie finished 2nd to Tramontana in 1962 and was then raced by Kieth Schellenberg in 63/64 using twin Ford Galaxy engines totalling 800hp.
Glass Moppie 1961
Glass Moppie at Bruce Campbell’s yard in 1961 prior to the first race

Glass Moppie 1962
Glass Moppie with cabin in 1962

The Bertram yard were represented in the 1963 season by Jim Wynn in the 25ft YOYO 2 and many privateers with their 31’s but 64 was to be an all out attack on races worldwide.

Blue Moppie

The Bertram yard in Miami built a series of “Ocean Racers” for the 1964 season, all carrying sequential double no’s

These were;
LUCKY MOPPIE No 77 Stateside and No 11 for the European circuit

SURFRIDER No 66 winner of the  ’64 Cowes Torquay but disqualified in the April running of the Miami Nassau.

Both the above ran Daytona engines totalling 760hp later 800hp.

RUM RUNNER No 99 was raced by Harold Abbott and ran twin Holman Moody Fords totalling a whopping 1042hp, she won the ‘64 Miami Nassau in 4hrs 54mins beating Lucky Moppie

The last boat was No 88 SWIFTWATER also powered by HM Fords totalling 700hp.

All the hulls were identical as were the forward cuddy cabins but all differed as to steering positions, rear layouts and of course engine spec…it was one of the Bertram Yards most successful seasons especially with wins in the 2 most famous races.

Lucky Moppie 1964
LUCKY MOPPIE 2nd in the Miami Nassau 1964

Rum Runner 1964
RUM RUNNER Winner 1964 Miami Nassau 

The Bertram 31 was built like a tank and the hulls are renowned for their sea keeping qualities, they became and still are a sought after make thanks to these race victories and several of the cruisers themselves were raced in the Cowes-Torquay namely,


Talking of survivors Ultra Violet is now in the Channel Islands, she apparently suffered a large crack in her hull after being damaged when driven onto a breakwater by a storm. Due to the inbuilt strength of the hull apparently the repairs were fairly straightforward and she was, when last heard of being restored in 2010.

As to the whereabouts of Barrie Heath’s “Chausseur” and Dennis

Thunderstreak 1964

Thunderstreak 1964

Thunderstreak 2000


Miller’s “Damian 3” they could be anywhere and Tommy Sopwith’s “Thunderstreak”? in 2011 she was found languishing in Galleons Marina east London with a hideous cabin and wheelhouse atop her magnificent hull seeking a buyer after being seized for non payment of dues.


Ultra Violet

If the American historic powerboat enthusiasts are anything to go by “Surfrider” will have been saved but will they be aware of her history and more importantly will she have escaped the addition of a cabin thus losing her identity altogether! It would be good to know the situation. Perhaps someone out there can put us out of our misery! Please…

An interesting footnote is that all Bertram 31 Raceboats in the early years bar 2 carried double numbers ie 11, 33, 44, 77, 88, 99 anyone know why? but the exception is THUNDERSTREAK number 40 or 400 and Chasseur 69

Mike James

Some photographs courtesy of Graham Stevens