Craig Blake-Jones looks at the Vector Martini iRace program
ANYTIME ANYPLACE ANYWHERE
One form of racing that tops everything in terms of shear exhilaration is offshore powerboats. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to get in a seriously fast boat on open water you’ll know what I mean. We once topped 100mph through Poole Harbour in a 45ft boat powered by two 1600hp engines and it was mind blowing. Vector powerboats do just that, with a pedigree that stretches back almost 30 years the Vector name is synonymous with offshore endurance racing. The craftsmanship and technology that goes into these crafts can make the most advanced race car look like a grass track racer. In offshore racing there is no pit lane, or pit crew. There are no stops, you just have to race. Miles from land usually in gruelling conditions the boats have to keep going and that is what Vector delivers.
In 2014 Martini Racing became the new official partner with Vector powerboats out of which Team Vector Martini Racing was born. This is the marine equivalent of Formula 1, carrying the same Martini Stripes as the Williams F1 team or the iconic Martini Porsche’s the Vector boats won the prestigious Cowes Classic Endurance Race on their inaugural outing.
The Vector V40R is a 43ft vessel built for endurance speeds. The boat uses twin petrol turbo V10 engines producing over 1000bhp each giving the boat a top speed in excess of 120mph. With a fully fuelled range of 4 hours at endurance race speed of a constant 85mph, the V40R could lap the Isle of Wight four times on one tank of fuel.
The iRace program is testament to Vector’s safety record. It allows individuals to become certified crew members and participate in high speed powerboat racing events. One such member is the worlds only male super model David Gandy, who has already started his training as a powerboat racing pilot and will undertake a World Endurance Record as part of the Vector four-man crew. A crew of two is needed, one at the helm and one for trim and navigation, but the cockpit has space for two more as support on these offshore passages. Vector’s unique iRace experience allows provision of racing and open water licences, whilst travelling in the first stage of a World Record attempt in full race conditions. Of course you get your own Nomex race suit and competition helmet as well as the memory of a life time… The V40R design means it actually runs faster in a two to three-foot swell than it does on glassy smooth water as the props have a chance to let the boat fly clear of the water surface substantially reducing drag… where do I sign up?
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