Gee

Gee – Forty years of racing!

In 1966 and The Hon Edward (Ted )Greenhall (retired Racing Driver and Heir to the Greenhall Brewery Co) and his wife Mary had moved to the Channel Islands. Ted Greenhall had given up motor racing before they moved to the islands but still hankered for a speed fix but with the islands 20 mph speed limit in force he resorted to buying a powerboat to satisfy his craving, in fact not just any boat but a Donzi 28′ one of the latest American designs powered by a single 470hp Chrysler and called her GEE. Ted Greenhall may have been coerced into entering his first race, the 1966 Cowes Torquay, by ex motor racer Keith Schellenberg and wallpaper heir Billy Shand-Kydd, (Shand-Kydd raced a Donzi 28′ the year before powered by 2 Daytona’s) GEE finished a creditable 15th.

In 1966 and The Hon Edward (Ted) Greenhall (retired Racing Driver and Heir to the Greenhall Brewery Co) and his wife Mary had moved to the Channel Islands. Ted Greenhall had given up motor racing before they moved to the islands but still hankered for a speed fix but with the islands 20 mph speed limit in force he resorted to buying a powerboat to satisfy his craving, in fact not just any boat but a Donzi 28′ one of the latest American designs powered by a single 470hp Chrysler and called her GEE. Ted Greenhall may have been coerced into entering his first race, the 1966 Cowes Torquay, by ex motor racer Keith Schellenberg and wallpaper heir Billy Shand-Kydd, (Shand-Kydd raced a Donzi 28′ the year before powered by 2 Daytona’s) GEE finished a creditable 15th.

1966 was the year that Jim Wynn won the race in Ghost Rider, the Donzi 28 was a Wynn Walters design and the offshore bug had bitten Ted Greenhall to such an extent that Wynn’s victory encouraged him to order a new more powerful boat capable of racing but also doubling as a high speed express between the mainland and the islands. The new boat designed by Wynn was to be built by Souter’s in Cowes and as a development of the Ghost Rider design, she had the same reverse sheer at the stern and an attractive cuddy cabin to comply with the current C1 rules. Measuring 40′ in length, she was built in typical strong Souter style of cold laminated mahogany.

She was to be powered by 2 powerful Cummins Diesels rated at 450hp each. Gee did not appear for the 1967 race but in 1968 and with the engines up rated to produce a total of 1000hp finished 4th overall and 2nd in class beating the favoured Gypsy Girl of Sir Max Aitken.

In 1969 Gee was entered in the Round Britain race and was leading the race only to retire at Dundee with fuel problems. Her outing in the Cowes Torquay Cowes that year was a big success however, when she finished 9th overall and 1st in class.

Her biggest competitors were Gypsy Girl and Spirit of Ecstacy, they always had a battle royal especially when the heavy weather conditions suited their designs.

“GEE” was raced every year by Ted Greenhall in many races not just the CTC and was one of the first boats to carry sponsorship, albeit GRUNHALLE LAGER from Greenhall’s Brewery! GEE retired in the 1970 CTC and finished 1st in class one in the 1971 race.

She was originally built and raced in the unlimited diesel class, with race No185, powered by 2 x Cummins Indiana diesels, totalling 1000BHP. As a race boat she had a small blister type coach roof, with a centre cockpit. Over the years she has been turned into a sports cruiser, with various different engines, the cabin coach roof – a Don Shead design – and now offers better space below decks.

John Bates of Bates Wharf Marine, who built the Star Crafts, lovingly restored “GEE” during the late 1980’s and into 1990’s, when he completely overhauled her. He enjoyed the boat for many years as his pride and joy.

In 2001 Chris Clayton became the proud owner and custodian for this beautiful boat and after over 40 years since she was built, “Gee” is now back racing. 

Chris Clayton carried out a complete internal and external refurbishment of “GEE” in 2007. Currently with twin Ford Sabres 300BHP, she will be refitted for the 2008 Round Britain Offshore Power Boat Race with twin Cummins QSB 480BHP diesel engines, being the original engine manufacturers during her successful racing days and she still carries the trademark racing no 185 and union jack flag on her pristine white livery, being instantly recognisable as “GEE”.

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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

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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 www.ukopra.co.uk for further updates.

Sponsors interested in being involved with the series as a whole should in the first instance contact info@ukopra.co.uk

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