HTS in her original livery - 1969
HTS in her original livery – 1969

Hot on the news that Miss Enfield 2 had been sold to an Italian, it was refreshing to hear that another of Don Shead’s multi winning designs was staying in GB… After much negotiation it transpired that club member Nick Wilkinson had purchased Apache from David Hagan and will be restored. this is her story…

In 1969 transport and distribution magnate Ralph Hilton commissioned Souter’s to build a 33ft Don Shead design for offshore racing to be known as "HTS" and be powered by Leyland diesels. With her dark blue and white livery soon to be changed to her more recognisable pale blue and white she was entered into the first Round Britain Race but the engines proved unreliable for the punishing conditions. One engine broke away and dropped into the bilges then in the later Cowes Torquay race another failed just after the start line.
In 1970 the engines caused more problems and the decision was taken to change the units to Ford based turbocharged Sabres and although less powerful than the Leylands proved ultra reliable and propelled the craft much faster.

APACHE 1979, but notice no screen!
APACHE 1979, but notice no screen!

HTS was entered into the recently announced 1972 London Monte Carlo Marathon and underwent many structural modifications plus upgrading the engines which had their output increased from 250 to 300hp resulting in speeds approaching 55mph.
15 days after the June the 10th start HTS arrived in Monte Carlo and was propelled into the history books by winning 8 of the 14 stages that totalled nearly 2400 miles at an average speed of almost 42mph in the process she also took home 29 trophies and a substantial amount of cash. Unfortunately Ralph Hiltons business failed and HTS with it.

After a successful season in 1972 she changed hands several times and was named I LIKE IT by new owner Charles Gill. Complete with a new engine layout, stern drives instead of shafts and in Charles hands took the class championship in the British series. She was then sold again in 1975 to John Craxford and re engined with the latest Sabre 365’s again taking championships aplenty.

APACHE in full flight and moving to her new home - 1979
APACHE in full flight and moving to her new home – 1979
APACHE in full flight and moving to her new home - 1979 APACHE in full flight and moving to her new home - 1979

Up for sale again in 1978 she was purchased by David Hagan, revamped and renamed APACHE she took the 1979 season by storm winning David the British Championships for classes 1 and 2! and then the European Championships, not bad for a 10 year old race veteran.

APACHE at Basildon Museum - 2009
APACHE at Basildon Museum – 2009

Her racing years over she was put in storage then stripped of her machinery was eventually displayed on loan to the Basildon Powerboat Museum. The subsequent dramatic closure of the museum found her back in storage in Hampshire and although not officially up for sale was purchased after secret negotiations by Nick Wilkinson…. now the work begins and one of Nick’s headaches is what colour scheme will this veteran and ultra successful craft return in? never mind the mechanical specification.

Follow her rebirth here…

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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




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.

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