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

Recent Posts

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

  1. Renato (Sonny) Levi. Leave a reply
  2. SURFURY Leave a reply
  3. Westcraft of Topsham Leave a reply
  4. BELLA 2 Leave a reply
  5. Foam Flyer Leave a reply
  6. Here and Now Leave a reply
  7. A’speranziella Leave a reply
  8. S.E.Saunders Launch Leave a reply
  9. CT 1961 by Charles Lawrence Leave a reply