Over the weekend PRW were saddened to hear of the passing of Tommaso de Simone the former Italian Class 1 Champion and Cowes Torquay Cowes winner.
One of the pioneers of the Neapolitan powerboat racing scene, he competed in over a hundred races between the 1970s and 2000s including winning the Venice-Monte Carlo in 1992. On two occasions he won the Martini Endurance Trophy, along with several European and Italian Offshore Championships.
In 2002 at the age of sixty-eight de Simone showed that age was no barrier in powerboat racing when he and his Italian Super Classic 40 Team of Roberto Buonomo, Jose Loustau Ismael and John Hampton completed the Cowes Torquay Cowes in 3hrs 14mins 32secs. Clocking an average speed of 74.73mph not only did he win the World Offshore Racing Endurance Championship but also his name would be engraved on the historic Harmsworth Trophy.
De Simone was the driving force behind the Naples-Monte Carlo race which then over the years became the Capri-Monte Carlo Endurance Race. He also set up the Goldfinger Racing team which raced all over the world and went on to become one of the most respected race promoters in Italy.
In powerboat racing he was recognised the world over but back home in Naples he led a completely different life as an immensely popular gynaecologist.
In fact, the media gave him the nickname of the ‘Flying Gynaecologist.’ He leaves two children, Paola and Fulvio, both sports enthusiasts and offshore powerboat racers with the Moretti Racing team.
On the cover of his book called ‘A Long Story’ written by De Simone in 2003 is the number 8. He said it was his favourite number because it is drawn by two perfect halves; just as he felt, half Doctor and half powerboat racer. As a sweet coincidence he passed away at the age of 88.
Twenty years ago PRW’s Contributing Editor Chris Davies shot the Cowes Torquay Cowes race and several of his images are published here as a tribute to Tommaso de Simone.