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Hugo Peel: 50 not out

John Moore on 28th February 2021

It has been 50 years since Hugo Peel made his offshore powerboat racing debut, and his spirit remains undiminished as he eagerly awaits to compete in this year’s British UKOPRA series.

Peel’s Thunderstreak, is about to have the dust sheets removed at Solent Marine Services (SMS), in preparation to compete in the Poole Bay 100 in June and the Cowes Torquay Cowes race in August.

Thunderstreak winning in Poole last year
Photo: Chris Davies

The boat that was first raced by Tommy Sopwith in 1963, and was discovered in 2014 by previous owner, Robin Ward in an East London marina.

Ward undertook an initial restoration and raced Thunderstreak with mixed results in 2015 and 2016.

In 2017, Peel purchased the boat and hired the SMS team of Tristan Ormiston and Jim Willcock to extensively refit the Bertram 31 Special under the watchful eye of project manager, Peter Hewitt.

After three years of painstaking restoration, Thunderstreak not only competed in last season’s Poole Bay 100 event, but she also won in class on both the Saturday and Sunday races.

Peel, who first raced in the 1971 Solent 70 race, will half a century later be racing in a boat that had already competed in four Cowes races before he first donned an orange helmet.

And the likelihood is that Thunderstreak will be more competitive than ever!

You can read about Thunderstreak’s restoration in the Motor Boat & Yachting article.

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