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New world powerboat record set in West Cork

August 16th, 2020 9:45 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Thunder Child II, built by Safehaven Marine, set a new powerboat world record for the over-50ft class by completing a Cork (Weaver’s Point) to Fastnet round trip in 2hrs 36 minutes, last Sunday. It averaged 44.6kts with a maximum speed of 53kts. Garry Minihane’s spectacular photo shows Thunder Child II rounding the iconic Rock.

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OUT of three possible time trial routes, the West Cork run – from Cork to the Fastnet and back – was chosen to test and ultimately establish a new world powerboat record on Sunday.

Safehaven Marine managing director Frank Kowalski said it was the second such triumph for the company, having also set a world record for around Ireland and Rockall in 2017.

Youghal-based Safehaven Marine’s 23m Thunder Child II set the new powerboat world record for the over-50ft class in a time of 2 hrs 36 minutes, averaging 44.6kts, and recording a maximum speed of 53kts on the run.

Describing the exhilaration of the event, Frank, who lives in Cobh and was skipper on the day, said: ‘We were kind to her engines, keeping them at just 85-90% of full power throughout, only giving her the beans for the final 10 miles towards the finish line running at over 50kts.’

The crew crossed the start line off Weaver’s Point at the entrance to Cork Harbour at 2pm with just light winds and a long Atlantic groundswell to contend with as they set off on the first leg heading West.

When they arrived at the Fastnet Rock 1hrs 21 minutes later, the crew were both ‘surprised and delighted’ to see a huge flotilla of about 50 boats, waiting to wave them on.

Frank admitted: ‘It was a bit stressful navigating through them as we rounded the rock, but it was simply fabulous to see them all set chase after Thunder Child II as she headed home.’

Passing the Stags Rock and Kinsale lighthouse, heading east, more boats came out to watch as she literally thundered home to yet another great welcome.

Frank said that Thunder Child II ‘ran faultlessly during the run, looking after her crew, which included Ciaran Monks, Carl Randalls, Mary Power and Robert Guzik.’

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