Sir Max Aitken
Ultra Violet again retired, Vivacity finished 31st and Gypsy Girl finished 3rd in class and 8th overall. In 1968 it was Lady V who was running a Levi, the catamaran FAT CAT, although she chose to enter ULTRA in the Cowes Race only to retire again but Max in Gypsy Girl stormed to the top finishing 2nd in class and 5th overall then 1969 saw Gypsy come home 5th in class and 8th overall and once more Lady Vi as a member of Ford team in the Huntsman SEASPRAY beat Max finishing 7th.
|In the new decade Gypsy Girl again did Max proud finishing 9th in class and 12th overall in 1970 and 4th in class and 7th overall in 71. 1972 saw one of the very few retirements by Sir Max Gypsy was now an old boat by racing standards but she had done him proud, Lady Violet upheld the families honour finishing 14th in Ford Express, a special Senior Hull powered by Ford Sabre’s.
In 1973 at the age of 63 Sir Max hung up his helmet, he had put in place one of the most enduring powerboat races in the history of the sport and had raced in practically every one, the Cowes-Torquay became the race everyone wanted to win no matter what nationality and you were not considered a full World Champion in the sport unless you had done so!
In the next few years Sir Max succumbed to poor health but was always at Cowes for the Racing in his home “The Prospect” entertaining the “Competitors” in his “Race”.
1985 the 25th anniversary of the Race was overshadowed by the death in April of its founder and mentor and although run in various forms until the Millenium was never the race it used to be, maybe the heart of the Cowes Torquay died along with its founder, the one and only Sir MAX AITKEN.
POST SCRIPT There was one boat owned by Sir Max, Drone was her name, of which very little history is known. If anyone can fill in the missing links on this craft please let me know and we will update the story of Sir Max accordingly. THANK YOU, Mike