|Cowes - Torquay 2009|
Austrian Hannes Bohinc and his Wettpunkt.com team were cruelly denied victory in the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes when a ruptured fuel tank forced the Buzzi-designed powerboat to retire just 1.5 miles short of the finish after almost four hours of gruelling race action. Heading for the record books as only the fourth man in history to win the coveted Beaverbrook Trophy on three occasions, the abrupt ending allowed Cinzano, piloted by Marcus Hendricks, Tim Grimshaw and Eric Smilie to take the chequered flag in a time of 3hrs 35.20, seconds ahead of Hot Lemon, the race leader for much of the 170 nautical mile distance. As conditions deteriorated the drama increased and less than half of the 21 starters were able to complete the distance. On the outward journey, with swells of up to 2 metres hampering progress, Ocean Dragon, the former P1 SuperSport contender, ran into difficulties in Poole Bay and sunk. Thankfully its crew, owner Martin Lai and Miles Jennings were safely rescued. Wettpunkt.com reached the halfway stage in fifth place; the FB 39 powered by FPT engines demonstrating its quality in the most arduous conditions. By Portland Bill, Bohinc, Ed Williams-Hawkes and Max Holzfeind had moved up to third and closing in on Hot Lemon and Cinzano. It was proving to be a remarkable debut for the Hannes Bohinc Racing FB-39.
By Anvil Point, with 20 miles remaining, Wettpunkt.com and Cinzano were running neck and neck in pursuit of Hot Lemon. They would pass the Scorpion of Mike and Dave Deacon with five miles of the finish as the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes, Europe’s oldest and biggest offshore endurance powerboat race once again lived up to its reputation. Another chapter in its illustrious history was about to be written. “That’s racing,” comments Hannes Bohinc.