Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider







Ghost Rider
Jim Wynn, since the inception of the Cowes Torquay in 1961 had entered every race with mostly production based
cruisers but the inventor of the Inboard Outboard and designer of the first “Formula” make of powerboats had yet to win
this most prestigious of Races to add to his victories in the States.
Jim Wynn, since the inception of the Cowes Torquay in 1961 had entered every race with mostly production based cruisers but the inventor of the Inboard Outboard and designer of the first “Formula” make of powerboats had yet to win this most prestigious of Races to add to his victories in the States.

Commissioned by sportsman Hugh Doyle to design an entry for the 1966 season, the Wynn/Walters partnership produced the designs for a 28 footer which went on to win the Miami Key West, The Hurricane Classic and the Miami Nassau and was then shipped to England for the Cowes Torquay..

The 1966 Cowes race turned out to be one of the meanest roughest races that decade but started off in reasonably good weather and had one of the top notch entries of the time including Surfury, Flying Fish, Delta 28, Merrick Lewis had brought over Thunderbolt from the States along with Thunderbird for Attillo Petroni to drive, in their search for World Championship points. The Italian contingent failed to appear this included Delta Synthesis, Delta Blue and Agnelli’s ULTIMA VOLTA.

The start of the race saw Delta and Surfury storm off into the Solent hotly pursued by Thunderbird and Albert Figgins Thunderfish, following them came Ghost Rider with one engine firing on 7 cylinders only and the bow tank not filling properly so she was purposing quite noticeably but leading a group of fancied rough water boats, including Flying Fish ,Tramontana 2 and News of the World with Peter Twiss at the wheel. The big boats were being left behind in the smooth Solent waters and second time past Cowes saw a battle between Surfury and Delta for the lead, Merrick Lewis was out already with a lost prop. 

As the fleet led by Surfury and Delta left the Solent the first to feel the strain of the high speed was Delta who stopped with a loose ballast tank pipe resulting in her erratic, unstable porpoising and chine dancing due to the incredible power of her twin Daytona’s through her single prop. Surfury headed across Poole bay on onto Durleston and it was from here on the first of the heavy swells started to make themselves felt ,the tail end of a hurricane that was blowing itself out on Britain’s shores. Behind her Delta was moving again and Ghost Rider suddenly regained full use of her oiled up plug and 7 cylinders became 8 but still had no ballast tank!

Flying Fish moved up the fleet as the rougher water suited her long hull along with Tramontana and battled now for the lead with Surfury. Wynn in Ghost Rider was taking things cautiously but was caught by several rogue waves and it was landing off one of these that saw his co driver Bob Sherbert crumple into a heap on the cockpit floor. Being a gentleman driver Wynn was in two minds whether to carry on or make for the nearest port to seek aid for Bob, the injured Sherbert gestured for him to carry on! Wynn made Bob Sherbert as comfortable as possible wedged into the cockpit corner and set off after the leaders whom he presumed to be Surfury and Flying Fish.

By the time the leading boats had reached Portland Bill the weather was deteriorating rapidly with long swells and 6 to 8 ft waves, one by one they fell, Surfury with smashed engine bearer and damaged oil lines, Delta’s exhaust manifold had broken, Flying Fish was now sinking after hitting a submerged object which ripped her bottom open and the crew of Tramontana 2 were semi comatose with carbon monoxide poisoning from a broken exhaust. Unknown to Wynn he was leading, the nearest boat was Spirit of Ecstacy, half an hour behind but built for exactly these kind of conditions and nearly twice Ghost Riders size! All the film and stills of the race show Wynn bouncing off the waves with Bob Sherbert braced and grappling for a hand hold in an extremely uncomfortable position.

The rest is all now well documented, Wynn led into Torbay with Spirit closing fast but the smooth waters allowed him to open up and cross the line but did not slow , he sped into Torquay Harbour at a rate of knots and docked, Bob Sherbert was gently lifted out of the cockpit and stretchered to a waiting ambulance , it transpired that as they crashed off the rogue waves into the trough’s Sherbert was caught out and a broken ankle resulted, I wonder how many sportsmen?!… would carry on today with such an injury and in those conditions?

Wynn had done it, the Beaverbrook Trophy would carry his name and another legend was created by the Cowes- Torquay.

40 years later and fully restored!

GHOST RIDER is now in the safe hands of Barry Cohen in America, often attends races, displayed on her trailer and attracts large crowds.

More on GHOSTRIDER can be found on

Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider


Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider

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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
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