Seven times Class 1 World Champion American Richie Powers faces Britain’s ten times World Champion Steve Curtis in this year’s Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race, now in its 57th year. Powers has raced with some of the legendary offshore powerboat owners from yesteryear and has been invited to the UK to throttle ‘Dry Martini’ in this year’s Cowes Classic, a 40 foot Cigarette hull.
Photo shows Steve Curtis, Richard Carr and Paul Sinclair – last year’s Cowes winners
Steve Curtis will be throttling his own boat, a 30 year old aluminium Cougar built by his late father’s company Cougar Marine. The craft was hauled from a field in the USA and renovated, and Steve’s company fitted two of the latest Mercury motors in it. Much to everyone’s surprise, ‘Cougar 69’ won last year’s CTC race in very rough conditions, and Steve hopes to repeat that performance this year. He will be accompanied by property developer Richard Carr, who raced with him last year, boatbuilder and racer Mark Pascoe and James Sinclair, the son of Paul Sinclair who was in the boat last year but is still recovering from his battering in last years race.
Curtis is still very active on the race scene having just signed a contract to race ‘Miss Geico’ in the APBA American series. ‘Miss Geico’ was recently involved in a fatal accident in the US but the insurance company wanted the ‘Geico’ name to fulfil their sponsorship. Steve’s company was recruited to provide them with a winning boat until the end of the season. It so happened Steve had ‘Qatar 95’, a Class 1 Victory 41 foot catamaran, available and leased it to Geico. The hull will be painted in Geico’s familiar bright yellow livery and fitted with two brand new Mercury motors, and Steve has taken over throttling duties until the original crew who are still traumatised following the accident have recovered.
When Steve won the CTC race in 2016 he followed in the footsteps of his late father the late Clive Curtis who collected the winners trophy in 1969 alongside another racing legend American Don Aranow, designer/builder of the famous Cigarette hull. Richie Power’s craft is called ‘Dry Martini’ and when asked what Cougar 69 is called Steve replied, “We are undecided but ‘Evian Water’ is a popular choice or maybe ‘Lucazade’.