Dear Members and friends 

You have probably all heard by now of the sad passing of our founder John Iddon….without whose foresight our club would not have come into existence.. John was adamant that the club would lead the way back to powerboating as we knew it in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s…with friendship and sportsmanship at its heart…how sad that just recently his wish seems to be on the verge of becoming fact again…..John was powerboating …he built them , raced them and scrutineered them .  He knew the sport inside out …one of the back room boys so often overlooked…we have lost a good friend and mentor…


The Late John.K.Iddon.
As many of you will have heard, John Iddon passed away last Sunday morning, 5th November, peacefully at home, aged 90.
I now have details for his funeral, which will take place on WEDNESDAY, 6th DECEMBER at 1245hours.
The Funeral is to be at The East Hampstead Crematorium, South Road, Nine Mile Ride (B3430), WOKINGHAM, RG40 3DW
Following the cremation, the wake will be held nearby at East Hampstead Conference Centre, off Peacock Lane, WOKINGHAM,
RG40 3DF
 All are welcome …lets give him a hero’s farewell…
Mike James
Vice President  COPC


The year is continuing to bring more finds to the surface..just had a message from Matthew Saville
I saw on your website a mention and picture of Monaco Fortuna from the 1961 Cowes Torquay race (…/…/the-morgan-giles-monacos/)

Well she still lives as I own her. Converted to a liveaboard although currently on the hard at Shoreham.

Matthew says that she is for sale and found details when searching for her history…maybe she will find her way back to the water?

and here she is….


Please note there is now a FACEBOOK site for Surfury….SURFURY.The future.  and a new website remodelled on the old Chris Grayer site will soon go live but in the meantime I am pleased to announce that the fund has reached £800….thank you to all and keep the interest flowing..


Right here is some fantastic news ….little BELLA 2 the entry of Fred Carvill 62.63.64 has turned up ..due for restoration of course but what a find….she is owned by Paul Traylen who I hope to speak to later…but in the meantime we need any info apart from what is already known to help Paul with his project…….MORE TO FOLLOW

Harry Hyams

It is with great sadness we have to report that another of the sports outstanding players passed away this weekend….Harry Hyams…who won the CTC twice in the Don Shead designed UNOWOT/ UNO EMBASSY previously Tommy Sopwiths ENFIELD AVENGER….Hyams was remembered for the Centre Point building in London and the controversy that surrounded it…
He was also a founder member of the BPRC….and the craft was one of the most successful racers of its day thought by many to be the pinnacle of Sheads design work.
.Photo’s believed to be originally Powerboat Archive




Obituary reproduced from the Guardian

Rarely was the property developer Harry Hyams seen in public – at least if there was any chance the press might be present. But while the epithet “recluse” was frequently attached to his name, it was not strictly accurate. Hyams, who has died aged 87, valued his privacy and would go to almost any lengths to preserve it, yet he was not too shy to enjoy the fruits of his fabulous wealth. Exotic travel, the opera, powerboat racing, vintage cars and horseracing would have been among the hobbies he listed in Who’s Who – had he consented to an entry.

To the fourth estate he had nothing to say but “no comment”, and even that was usually through a lawyer or other spokesperson. The sight of a camera was enough to cause him to take elaborate evasive action. His voice was never caught on tape, at least not by the BBC. As chairman of a publicly listed company, Oldham Estates, Hyams was compelled by law to hold an annual meeting for the company’s shareholders. For many years he chose the most awkward time he could imagine, 4.15pm on New Year’s Eve. Naturally the press was excluded from the meeting, and Hyams would go to extraordinary lengths to avoid being photographed. On one famous occasion he donned a Mickey Mouse mask as he pushed his way through the gaggle of photographers outside the Institute of Directors.

Hyams’s wealth came from a sector in which it is possible to operate quite anonymously. However, he undertook one property development – Centre Point, an office tower in the heart of London at the eastern end of Oxford Street – that was to thrust him into the limelight and with which he would always be associated. Centre Point came to represent the avarice of the postwar property boom, and even before it was built it attracted controversy. In the late 1950sLondon County Council (LCC) wanted to rationalise the busy junction at the north end of Charing Cross Road and needed to acquire land to build a roundabout. Under the law then in force, the LCC could offer only pre-war values, as a result of which the plan became bogged down in bureaucratic process.

 Centre Point, the office tower in central London that thrust the developer Harry Hyams into the limelight. Photograph: Philips/Fox/Getty

It was then that Hyams entered the scene, offering to buy the land at current values. He said he would build only on the part of the site not required for the road scheme, provided he could gain the benefit of the whole site when calculating the maximum size of building that could be allowed on the part site. The agreement was never set in writing because it was illegal to “sell” planning consents, but as a result of the deal Hyams was able to build at twice the normal five-to-one ratio of floor space to site area. He then handed the whole site over to the LCC and leased back the part required for building at a fixed rent for 150 years.

The architect  George Marsh, working with his colleague Richard Seifert, designed a 385ft, 35-floor tower of concrete and glass (which is now grade II listed), built at a cost of £5.5m over three years from 1963 to 1966. Hyams insisted that the building, one of London’s first skyscrapers, was to be let only to “a single tenant of undoubted covenant”. Partly as a result, it remained empty for the next 16 years, and Hyams was accused of purposely keeping the building empty, as the growth in its capital value was higher than the lost rent. He denied this accusation at every turn, using the lawyer Arnold (later Lord) Goodman to fire off letters and threats of legal action at anyone who suggested the vacancy was deliberate. Protestations of innocence continued until his death.

In 1973, Hyams took out an advertisement in the press claiming Centre Point was “the best known office building in the world”. Some in New York may have disputed that claim, but it was certainly the most controversial. Eventually, Hyams relented and leased the building floor by floor. It was never fully occupied, and the road scheme that precipitated its construction, with its dismal underground pedestrian ways, was for many years a disgrace to the capital. After housing the Confederation of British Industry from 1980 to 2014, in 2015 Centre Point was converted from office space into luxury flats.

Harry was born in Hendon, north London, the son of a bookmaker. After private schooling he joined a firm of estate agents, then switched to property development.

Before he was 30 he was already a millionaire, having taken advantage in the 1950s of the many opportunities provided by second world war bomb sites in prime locations. He was particularly active in developing office space in the 1960s and 70s, and apart from Centre Point, the team of Hyams and Seifert built a number of other notable central London buildings, including Space House, off Kingsway. Hyams’s company, Oldham Estates, in which the Co-operative Insurance Company held a major interest, was eventually taken over for more than £600m in 1987.

In 1964, Hyams paid £650,000 for Ramsbury Manor, a beautiful Charles II mansion tucked away on 600 acres of the Kennet valley in Wiltshire. At the time it was said to be the highest price paid for a private house in England. Using the law, he guarded the privacy of Ramsbury against anything and anyone who might threaten it. He also became embroiled in disputes over shooting rights he owned, which he fiercely protected despite having given up shooting many years before. However, his privacy was shattered early in 2006 when thieves broke into the manor, stealing clocks, porcelain, paintings and other works of art worth around £30m. The stolen goods represented half a century of passionate collecting by the idiosyncratic millionaire, and he was deeply upset by the raid, which remains Britain’s biggest burglary.

As recently as January 2015, Hyams was still using the law to assert his rights, when he objected to plans by the billionaire owner of the H&M fashion chain, Stefan Persson, to build a mansion next door to Ramsbury. He argued that this would infringe his shooting rights.

Hyams’s wife, Kay (nee Hoey), whom he married in 1954, died in 2011.

• Harry John Hyams, property developer, born 2 January 1928; died 19 December 2015

Foam Flyer

Good News…… just in regarding Foam Flyer the Watson designed Westcraft raceboat rescued by Mike LLoyd then taken on by Ben Yates and Tim Hardwicke, she is now in storage at the IBTC unit in Portsmouth…awaiting further works…it was IBTC who carried out the hull work on THUNDERBOLT…All work on FF is on hold as Ben and Tim have young families but we are assured she will one day re emerge from enforced storage.

Here and Now

Sad news regarding COPC member Paul Fairall’s classic Huntsman.

This C-T Race veteran from 1962 sadly caught fire off Lymington last weekend, & is pictured in the Daily Echo (Southampton), of Thursday, 12th August.

I have spoken with Paul, who tells me that the fire was in the port side turbo’ unit.

The cabin is luckly undamaged, but the cockpit & windscreen certainly are.

No harm to the crew at all, & the boat is currently out of the water at Lymington Yacht Haven.

I am sure that we all commiserate with Paul, & hope that he persuades his insurers to accept his claim to enable repairs to be put in hand.


As the above named craft is now under new ownership I thought it time to revamp the article that first appeared on the original web site….Photographer unknown..from Barry Sales Collection

A`Speranziella, was a design from the board of one Renato Sonny Levi who was born in Karachi (then in India) and worked in his father’s boat building yard in Bombay designing and overseeing production. Now domiciled back in Italy and working for Cantieri Navaltecnica in Anzio the heart of Italy’s boating industry, the excitement of participating in the first modern day powerboat race in Europe had enticed the Italian over to Britain for the race. Levi’s mount A`Speranziella at 30ft was built to his design and as a prototype for a new range of cruisers to be produced by Navaltecnica.

Photo Yachts and Yachting

She was powered by a pair of American Cadillac Crusaders, totalling 600hp run on high octane aviation fuel. When Renato asked the race organisers if the fuel was available in the UK, he was told emphatically no! The engines were de-rated accordingly and he arrived at Cowes prior to the race to find it was available, it was maybe that this proved a costly mistake! They were also allocated race no 17 which is unlucky (as our no 13), in Italy, this was happily changed to 16 for the race, the number she carried all her racing life.

The race has been well documented with the biggest scrap being between A`Speranziella and Thunderbolt each taking the lead but it was in the rough waters off St Catherine’s that A`Speranziella took control as Sopwith throttled back to 10 knots in the torrid conditions. She held the lead through Bournemouth and on to Durleston where the first problems struck, maybe going that little faster in the extreme conditions was overzealous and Thunderbolt regained the lead never to relinquish it again. The bright red Italian pushed on with cracks in cabin structure, splits in the longitudal bearers, a smashed head, split tanks and the engines being temperamental, maybe they were showing a dislike for the lower octane fuel!

Levi brought her in to 6th place at Torquay and set him self on a trail to fame as one of the most outstanding designers of the second half of the century.

Now that bug had bitten, Sonny as he was known, was back in ’62 accompanied by a rebuilt and strengthened A`Speranziella.

Also at Cowes was another new formidable Levi boat, Ultima Dea ( the Last Goddess), powered by three Maserati engines and driven by Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli and a smaller Levi design, Settimo Velo.

The Italians had arrived with their own transport vessel, which doubled as workshop, home and support ship but it was to all be in vain.

The 1962 race was run in rough conditions that suited the big boys of the 41 starters and of course there was none bigger than Dick Wilkins Tramontana, the day did not start well for the Italians when the little Settimo Velo did not make the start.

A`Speranziella was co driven by Commander Attilo Petroni and she showed again as in the previous year that she was a good contender taking the rough seas in her stride, yet again she was battling with Thunderbolt now driven by Pamela Campbell and Lettis Curtis for 5th and 6th places, the crossing of Lyme Bay took its toll on both craft and A`Speranziella approached Torquay much the worse for wear with engine problems and heeling slightly to starboard, she made the trip up to Ore Stone and back to the finishing line crossing in 10th place but unfortunately was disqualified for missing a turning mark. Ultima Dea had finished in 3rd but at prize giving it was YO YO who took the spoils for Ultima had also missed a mark of Bournemouth and Agnelli refused to sign his declaration and was eliminated.

On the day of scrutineering for the 1963 race a familiar shape appeared in Cowes harbour after motoring over from Belgium, looking more purposeful than previous years with a redesigned cabin and powered by 2 new Ford Interceptor engines totalling 800hp, A`Speranziella was back. The whole boat had been rebuilt yet again from lessons learned in the 2 previous races, she was now stronger than ever with additional stringers and bearers including re-engineered spray rails, she was also faster and more reliable.

Such was the status now of the Cowes Torquay a total of 50 entries had been received so the competition was going to be fierce, included were no less than 9 Bertrams including Blue Moppie, Damian and Thunderstreak all rated at 800hp plus White Migrant a 25ft Christina with an engine room full of Ford Dearborn Interceptors giving her an unrivalled power to weight ratio.

The race was run in moderate conditions and the I.O.W. loop saw speeds of 43 knots attained by the leading bunch including all the named above with A`Speranziella in 5th place. Lead boat was Migrant driven by Lord Lucan and Bruce Campbell but at the Needles second time she had vanished, it transpires that the tanks had been overfilled and Lucan was slopping out petrol in the bilges when his cuff caught the propshaft, the material was dragged into the floating bearing which seized and water started pouring in, the bilge pump then packed up and she sank. Next to go was Thunderstreak in Lyme bay, it was here Blue Moppie had water pipes let go and she stopped for repairs. Tramontana 2 made up ground in the rough water but the leader after all this action was the Italian, a lead she held to the finish. So it was third time lucky for Sonny and there was never a more deserved victor, his success was even sweeter when in sixth place came the diminutive TRIDENT driven by Don Shead with a similar boat Jupiter in 16th, both designed by Levi and built by R.W.Clarke in Cowes. You knew who was going to be flavour of the month next year and his success as designer and driver set the seal on his future.

Photo from the Ford Brochure at the Boat Show in 1964

A`Speranziella never raced again in the CT but made an appearance in the hands of circuit racer Tom Percival in the first Round Britain Powerboat Race in 1969 with sponsorship from Robinsons Barley Water and painted with lurid diagonal stripes, she unfortunately broke down and retired at Milford Haven.


Like all old racers the boat vanished into private hands but was advertised in Motor Boat and Yachting in the 80’s though said to be in poor condition. Then surprise surprise she was purchased, restored by Nigel Bowdler and appeared at Cowes in 1987 only to vanish yet again, she was also the subject of an article in Sonny Levis’ book Milestones in my designs.

10 years ago she was purchased from Adam Younger by Sebastian Stapleton and was reportedly to undergo another restoration including the fitting of replacement Ford Interceptors but this stalled and she suddenly came up for sale again and as the new owner put it was a giant jigsaw puzzle having been totally dismantled. That new owner is a total Levi fan having already restored a Triana and now has the gargantuan task of restoring ‘A’…the new owner is COPC Member Barry Sales and he deserves all our support in this task..I also believe a special web site is due to go on line to record the progress

It is heart warming that another CT winner is at last being afforded the acknowledgement due and one of the most famous Levi  racers will be back on the water one day.


S.E.Saunders Launch

Back in 1984 Idug an old powerboat / launch out of the mud of Benfleet creek in Essex. As a young boatbuilder i had admired the hull ever since I was a kid & along with many others had on occasion tried to buy her. Her somewhat eccentric owner had an eclectic collection of over 20 boats all of which he managed to destroy through utter neglect.

The sole survivor was the launch & I bought her from his estate after his death.

Loa 27′  6″ x 5′ 8″ beam. Single engine with p bracket

She was Built By S E Saunders ltd in approx 1905 of  Saunders patent consuta sewn plywood construction. This was very light & strong but was extremely difficult to repair, consequently there are very few survivors. Apart from the original umpires launch Consuta & a couple of other umpires launches i knew of only 3 other surviving Saunders launches of this construction. My boat was unusual in that she had rolled angle iron frames in way of the engine bay with full length massive engine beds. This is almost certainly why she survived so long!

I with my wife did a lot of research at the old Motor boat museum at Pitsea & also at the National maritime museum, inc Loyds register.We never did identify her name or any history prior to 1935.

We did find some references in the Motor boat magazines from 1904-5 that Saunders started fitting steel frames to some boats around that time following some hull problems with boats being raced.

As to “was she a racer?” it would appear to be likely but we have nothing really to go on. Its obvious she was built to carry a large powerplant & in Ray Wheelers book From river to Sea  there are several photos of similar boats.

After quite a few years sat in the back of my boatshed I rebuilt the hull, this was a major task owing to extensive rot & ice damage.

Then a 10 year lay off due to our son arriving & too much to do!

Circumstances have now arrived where i have the time to finish her & I am looking forward to this as im now 53 & really need to get her finished!

If you have any ideas on where I might find any more info about her I would be grateful. Im also thinking that maybe somewhere in a dusty shed there might possibly be an unlikely surviving engine from the dawn of powerboating that needs a hull to live in!

Anywhere you can point me would be greatly appreciated.

I can be contacted on 01268 752665 or mob 07895 036766

Regards Keith



CT 1961 by Charles Lawrence

Right after a very depressing week we are back….and something that cheered me up immensely …Charles Lawrence’s new book..all 120 pages devoted to the first Cowes Torquay recommended to all who remember the Golden Years and full of unseen details and photo’s. It is hot off the press and orders can be taken via Charles at…….Price £20 plus P&P…Copies will probably be available at the Classic Rally or through the club.