The Race

It was back in 1961 at a party on his boat Drumbeat that Sir Max Aitken decided to start the powerboat race. Ray Hunt, the designer of Drumbeat, pointed out that on the previous day it had been the Bertram boat, designed by him, that had won the Nassau-Miami powerboat race.

Not to be outdone by the Americans Sir Max Aitkin said, 'Let's have a race between my house (The Prospect in Cowes)and somewhere in the West, say Torquay,' and the race was born.



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Founded in 1815, the Royal Yacht Squadron is the most prestigious yacht club in the United Kingdom and arguably the world. Its clubhouse is located in Cowes Castle on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. The club's patron is Queen Elizabeth II and the club's Admiral is Prince Philip.

Founded on 1 June 1815 in the Thatched House Tavern in St James's, London as The Yacht Club by 42 gentlemen interested in sea yachting. The original members decided to meet in London and in Cowes twice a year, to discuss yachting over dinner. Membership was restricted to those who owned a vessel not under 10 tons. Today this is interpreted as a gentleman 'actively interested in yachting'.


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Gordon Oliver

Mayor of Torbay

'It is wonderful that Torquay on The English Riviera will host a leg of Cowes Torquay Cowes, one of the most spectacular events in the British sporting calendar'.


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Watch the Cowes Classic 2013 via Yellowbrick Tracking