In 1970, Solicitor, Lake District Hotelier, and Power Boat Racer Norman Buckley joined with other Power Boat enthusiasts to form a committee to organize a Water Speed Record Attempts event. As one of the timekeepers on Coniston Water 3 years earlier in 1967, Norman Buckley knew of the importance of the correct organization of a Speed Record event after witnessing the death of his friend, Donald Campbell at his fateful outright speed record attempt. The newly formed National Record Attempts Committee announced in April 1970 that the first ‘National Power Boat Record Attempts’ was to start Monday 19th October on Lake Windermere in the English Lake District. The success of this 1st event laid the bedrock for an annual ‘Records Week’ to be established in the format and spirit we see today.
53 years on, and ‘Power Boat Records Week’ is the Spiritual Home of world water speed record-breaking and we are celebrating the 50th event. Despite Records Week not being run in 1977 following the loss of the main sponsor, then a Byelaw Change in 2019, and the Coronavirus Pandemic in 2020, the event has remained the highlight of the British Power Boat Racing Calendar for over 5 decades.
Next week sees the gathering of Power Boat teams and drivers on Coniston Water for this momentous event. Coniston Power Boat Records Week is considered by many as the world’s premier Water Speed Record event and sees British and International drivers attempt to raise the bar of speed record in their class of boat.
The 50th Water Speed Record event will see watercraft of all sizes and piloted by drivers of all ages take to the hallowed water. From age 12 through to drivers with over 40 years of experience, the nerves and sense of pride is the same regardless of age or experience.
This year’s event will see drivers from across the UK and Europe challenge themselves against the clock. Among the competitors hoping to claim a new World Record this year will be French Husband and Wife team Mathieu and Tiffany Chiarini-Dutto who will be competing in their Thundercat Inflatable named Catflyer. Mathieu and Tiffany are already World Record holders after setting a new World Record in a similar class 5 years ago at Coniston, this year they are hoping to achieve over 71.35mph to achieve a new world record in P.750 Modified up to 750cc class.
One of the many returning competitors to Coniston this year is the Current Formula 4 British Champion, 20-year-old Jonny Brewer from Lincoln. As well as being the current Formula 4 World Speed record holder after setting the new record at Coniston in 2021 at 80.00 mph, Jonny attended Records Week supporting his father Jason who is a Water Speed Record Breaker too.
With entries still coming in and some teams keeping their intentions under wraps until the event, the 49th Annual Powerboat Records promises to be another World record-breaking event.