|Round Britan 2008 - 2|
craft whose owner, Chris Clayton, had instigated a major rebuild including twin Cummins diesels, new shift, props and modern electrics, redesigned and strengthened engine beds and a rebuilt deck. At the other end of the spectrum was the 42ft Wettpunkt.com, powered by twin Isotta Fraschini diesels and generating 1800hp.
Considered by Fabio Buzzi to be one of the best boats he has ever built, the FB Design of Austrian Hannes Bohinc would start, alongside Buzzi’s own four-engined 3500hp entry Red FPT, as one of the firm favourites to win this prestigious race.
Poor weather conditions made for a punishing opening stage as the 48 boats hit the throttles and thundered down The Solent en-route to Plymouth, Devon, a distance of 130 nautical miles. Only 32 boats would complete the punishing first leg, the most high profile casualty being the Italian craft, Red FPT of Fabio Buzzi which inexplicably struck Portsmouth’s wartime anti-submarine defence barrier minutes before the race start, smashing a rudder and one of its three propellers.
The German entry, Blue Marlin, a 36ft Supermarine Swordfish cruiser, sunk off Lyme Bay having hit debris and suffered a 2ft diameter hole. Markus Hendricks and his three man crew were forced to take to their life raft and were later picked up unhurt by a fellow competitor. The boat is now 190ft down in the English Channel.
The first boat home, Drew Langdon’s Silverline, arrived in a time of 2hours 34minutes and 57seconds.