There is something special about the Rubis Around the Island Race, which brings the very best out of Steven Eversley and Brandon Franks.
The dynamic duo always seem to rise for the big occasion and it remains to be seen if they can maintain their stranglehold in the D Class when they put their title on the line in tomorrow’s annual powerboat racing spectacle.
Eversley and Franks won class honours for the third straight year in record time in 2016 and were the first to complete the 54-mile circumnavigation for the second year in succession in their 23-foot Bat Boat.
The pair are again among the pre-race favourites, but will have their work cut out against a competitive field that includes the in-form Andrew Cottingham and co-pilot Henry Talbot and twin brothers David and Mark Selley.
Cottingham and Talbot, the former Bermuda Power Boat Association commodore, have won class honours in all of the races contested so far in the season championship.
“These guys are all really running strong and are going to be really exciting to watch,” Chris Roque, the race director, said.
So too will be the battle for A Class honours where Shaki Easton and co-pilot/owner Errin Butterfield are among the favourites.
The pair have swept class honours in all of the season championship races held so far and will undoubtedly be keen to maintain their winning ways.
“The A Class has grown with some really new modern boats entered and they are doing some fabulous speeds that, with the right conditions, they should be able to break the race record,” Roque added.
Ryan Davidge and Andrew Osbourne won A Class honours last year.
Also defending their title this year in the B Class is the father and daughter team of Jody and Anthony Carreiro while Damon Simons and Aaron Cannonier are the defending champions and pre-race favourites in the C Class.
Simons and Cannonier escaped serious injury in a dramatic mishap during last month’s powerboat racing season opener at Ferry Reach.
Simons’ Bat Boat lost control and rolled over before coming to a halt in the water.
The boat suffered extensive damage to its starboard wing while its occupants emerged with minor cuts.
Keith Bridges and brother Steven Bridges are the defending champions in the S Class and again expected to be thick in the hunt for bragging rights.
“The line up for the race looks very intriguing and I think it’s a perfect race day,” Roque said.
“We’ve got 12-15 knots of wind which gives us a little bit of chop but not too terrible, so we will be able to get good speeds and have a safe race.”
Race registration expires at 3:30pm today.
The Rubis Around the Island Race, which starts and finishes at Ferry Reach, gets under way at 2pm tomorrow.