The Vosper

The Vosper Built “Flying Fish”

In 1966 the Savundra era came to an end but not before he had commissioned another raceboat to carry on from the Jackie S series. His downfall which went with the collapse of the Fire Marine and Auto Insurance group left Vosper holding the baby, that baby being a boat which could have been the Doctor’s best chance of winning the Cowes Torquay a prize he desperately sought.

The craft was the immensely purposeful and stunning “Flying Fish”, fashioned in Aluminium and powered by 2 x 550hp Daytona’s. This was the age of the Daytona engine which was powering many of the current soon to be winners of offshore races including Surfury, Ghost Rider Delta’s Synthesis and Blu.

Flying Fish had been purchased prior to the ‘66 race by Albert Figgins who had previously raced the Halamatic Christina hull Thunderfish powered by Ford Interceptors hence her name.

One wonders what the good Doctor would have called her it would probably been Flying Jackie a name used for another of his aborted boats built by Watercraft to a Teal design.

Flying Fish was driven in the race by Mike Trimming with Albert Figgins on board and being one of the most powerful craft in the race it was inevitable Flying Fish would be vying for honours she in fact led the race for much of the first legs.

Then as they entered the open waters off Portland Bill in a battle for the lead with Ghost Rider, it happened and whether they hit a submerged object, a rogue wave whatever, the bottom split and the dreadful result was her total loss as this amazing sequence of photographs show.

We have to thank Sam Mace for letting us have the complete set showing her demise, Sam found the dusty old prints in her late fathers archive and though many of you have probably seen the 2 most published ones, the whole set makes compelling viewing.

The most interesting aspect of this, especially when you look at the neck and neck racing with Ghost Rider is that they show Jim Wynn’s co driver Bob Sherbert standing in the cockpit! Bear in mind this was prior to him breaking his ankles! Is it therefore possible that both boats hit the same bad patch of water /object each suffering the consequences but in different ways?

Maybe John Mace had in this sequence of pictures the reasons as to why both craft suffered now we will never know of course but it will certainly raise new questions.

Had the incredibly strong Souter hull, which was an inch thick on the hull bottom as specified by Wynn, been able to survive an impact albeit at a cost catching Sherbert unawares as the shock jolted the hull!
Yet the stressed Aluminium hull of FF which had been subject to many calculations by staff from Mitsubushi for lightness and rigidity not been given enough plate thickness where it mattered most?. resulting in a seam failure!

Either way Ghost Rider went on to win the race and a fascinating race boat sank to the the bottom of Lyme Bay and though discovered by Royal Navy divers was deemed unrecoverable.

The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying Fish
The Vosper built - Flying FishPhotographs courtesy of Sam Mace

Recent Posts

JOHN IDDON

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…

FUNERAL DETAILS

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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