Chris Davies captured Blastoff Racing on its way to Torquay.
Dorian Griffith and his Blastoff Racing Team are no strangers to the Cowes Torquay Cowes, however, the 2022 edition started with a race to the West Country on the water against Team Pippa and ended in defeat against them with a taxi race on the road back to Southampton.
Griffith takes up the story of water and road trips:
We decided at the start to hang back a little and let the mayhem take place in front of us, which it did!
It was time to stretch Blastoff’s legs up the Solent to end up near the front of the pack – we then eased back to 80% throttle and progressed past Bournemouth and the sea state worsened when we cleared Old Harry Rocks.
Throttling back a little we were joined by the Buzzi RIB Pippa and we could see Team 25 Dragon about a minute ahead of us.
That was our plan!
We experimented with the trim and other settings while tussling with Pippa after Portland and across Lyme Bay.
Pippa was going well until they suddenly stopped about 12 miles from Torquay and we slowed to check they were okay.
We then pressed on with the intention of catching and passing the Dragon boat on the return leg.
However, at Torquay Mark 3 we hit a huge wave and an electrical gremlin stopped the port side engine.
Alas we couldn’t find the cause, so we cruised into Torquay for a nice lunch instead and waited for Pippa to join us.
The Pippa and Blastoff teams then had a taxi race to Southampton with Team Pippa edging us to the finish line at Banana Wharf!
23-year-old Cole McGowan from Florida will be taking part in the Cowes Torquay Cowes race with Dorian Griffith in Pippa, a Fabio Buzzi-designed and built RIB powered by twin Seatek 750 hp diesel engines.
Griffith had hoped to race his Cougar R12 hull, Blastoff Racing, however, it has been side-lined after suffering a terminal engine failure – A rod shot through one of the two Ilmor engines in testing last week.
In the highest act of sportsmanship, Pippa owner Dan Smith graciously made his boat and skipper Jack Weller available to the Blastoff Racing team as there is no time to source parts and complete necessary repairs to the Cougar.
McGowan (above right) is a marketing and PR professional in the powerboat and sportscar racing industries, working most notably with the Miss GEICO racing team which boasts 2016 CTC winner, Steve Curtis (above left) as throttle man.
He commented from his home in Tampa:
I’m extremely excited to take part in such an historic and illustrious competition.
As I have found my way through this sport, Cowes stood out to me very early on as a challenge I wanted to undertake.
This race is one of the last which reflect the true spirit of the sport of offshore racing which is what made it so attractive to me.
After speaking with Steve Curtis who said I should do this race if I had the chance, I knew I had to!
Griffith commented on his two new team mates:
Having Cole on board will be brilliant as we can experience his excitement and emotions as he tackles this prestigious race for the first time.
I’ve never raced with Jack before either, so we will have to learn to work together fairly quickly!
Top photo: Chris Davies
In what can only be described as, ‘extreme conditions’, an inaugural Speed Weekend organised by the Classic Offshore Powerboat Club, (COPC) under the sanction of UKOPRA was held outside of Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight at the end of September.
Record attempts were made by offshore racing boats that have competed in this season’s UKOPRA championships, and with very strong winds, it was amazing that the organisers could put together some runs for the boats!
Dorian pushed his Yanmar powered Fountain through the rough to establish an Offshore 2 record at 76.34987 mph.
Amazing, considering the conditions.
Top Photo: Malc Attrill
Video: Skippics Photography
We were very unlucky at the Poole Bay 100 race, on the day there were ideal conditions for our 90+ mph Yanmar powered Fountain hull.
We unfortunately hit a hidden lobster pot just off Hengistbury Head while we were accelerating up to maximum speed and the boat hooked badly, we re-started the boat and overtook half the fleet and unfortunately the weakened Arneson detached from the drop box as we gave chase to Pippa and Bubbledeck and that was that.
It was a big blow to our championship defence!
We are in a race against time.
The team are hoping to machine some parts for the drive in time for the Guernsey Gold Cup race as spare parts or moulds were not available from Arneson for us to replace.
As always, thanks to Barrus for the amazing Yanmar engines and our new lubricant partners Liqui Moly, and our clothing partners Toio, who provide our stylish Italian team wear.
Blastoff Racing are proud to announce that Liqui Moly are going to be our Lubricant Partner for the 2019 season.
Liqui Moly make a range of products for the marine industry which will be tested to extremes during the 2019 campaign in the class winning Yanmar powered Fountain.
The first race this season, the Poole Bay 100, will be based at Poole Quay, and is a part of the Poole Harbour Boat Show where over 30,000 people are expected to attend to see the race craft and their respective crews and sponsors.
Blastoff Racing today secured the UKOPRA British Offshore 2 – Marathon National Championship.
Dorian and Will added a British Offshore 2 class win to their second place in Falmouth and first at the Fortitudo Property Poole Bay 100.
The pair had to battle through huge seas in the shortened Cowes race and finally finished 4th overall.
Blastoff also finished 4th overall in the 2018 Marathon World Championship, beaten by boats with far more power.
Top Photo of Blastoff: Nicholas William Clegg at Hengistbury Head
The Yanmar-engined Blastoff, raced by Dorian Griffith and Will Stevens won Class C at the Fortitudo Property Poole Bay 100 Offshore Powerboat race, the opening round of the 2018 World Offshore Championship and The Harmsworth Trophy, on June 10th.
Griffith and Stevens are delighted with third overall, it keeps them on track for their Harmsworth Trophy challenge.
That challenge will resume this Saturday at Falmouth, for Round 2 of the championship!
Blastoff Racing are delighted to introduce TOIO as our team clothing partner for the 2018 Marathon Powerboat Racing Season.
We are very excited about working with this stylish Italian company.
The TOIO range is available with or without Blastoffracing.com team branding from the web site toio-cowes.co.uk and also from their shop at The Corner House, Shooters Hill, COWES, Isle of Wight, PO31 7BG.