Steam Packet Company Grand Prix of the Isle of Man, 24 - 25 June
The Isle of Man proved to be a popular venue with both spectators and competitors following the Series hugely successful debut in 2005. Steve Curtis, HF4S series organiser and seven-time Class 1 World Powerboat Champion comments: “The Isle of Man is shaping up to be a fantastic venue, with great vantage points and excellent facilities. There is always a sense of unpredictability during the opening rounds of the championship as competitors get to grips with the varying characteristics of their boats. Victory in the first race of the season is open to anyone and we can’t wait for the excitement to start.”
This year the Isle of Man has its own top class competitor to cheer for in Stephen Baggs, navigator of ‘Vortigern’. “I drove into Douglas last summer to book a holiday but couldn’t find a place to park. I found the Honda Formula 4-Stroke Series in full swing and was captivated. Two weeks later I had bought my very own powerboat!” said Stephen. “It’s going to be a steep learning curve for us as we have never raced before and are unsure of how the boat will perform in race conditions. I’m really looking forward to racing on home seas and I know we can go quickly. I can’t wait!”
The Honda powerboats will arrive in Douglas Bay hot-on-the-heels of the annual TT, where Honda motorcycles have made an impression on the Island’s roads since 1959. To celebrate this long standing relationship with the island, Honda will be showing off its handsome HM Plant liveried 225hp craft at Honda Peel day on Wednesday 4 June, proof of it’s racing credentials on water as well as on Tarmac.
“The Isle of Man is the perfect place to start our eighth season of Honda Formula 4-Stroke powerboat racing.” says Martin Sanders, General Manager, Honda (UK) Power Equipment. “Both competitors and organisers are starting to feel the tension build as we get closer and closer to the first race. With more boats than ever set to race for the chequered flag, this season is shaping up to be the most successful yet.”