The Cowes-Torquay-Cowes endurance powerboat race finished Sunday in the roughest weather in the event's 56-year history — 32- to 38-mph winds and 13- to 19-foot seas.
Steve Curtis throttled the Mercury Racing 1,350-hp Cougar aluminum vee-bottom hull to victory. Mercury said the British racer, who has won nearly everything in the sport of offshore powerboat racing, had never won this endurance event.
Teammate Richard Carr has followed the race since he was a child. Mercury said Carr had dreamed of winning the Cowes event. Dorian Griffith, who had been striving to finish Cowes-Torquay-Cowes since 2008, finished second.
Newspaper tycoon and World War II fighter pilot Sir Max Aitken created the 190-mile endurance race in 1961 after he saw the Miami-Nassau Powerboat Race, which was first run in 1956.
Aitken proposed that a similar race be staged in England between Cowes and Torquay.