ROSE LORES and John Donnelly roar- ed to victory in the Cowes Powerboat Festival on Sunday.
The pair, who hail from Stubbington and Havant respectively, dominated the P1 150 class to take the title.
And now they are targeting the race of a lifetime in 2013.
Lores and her navigator Donnelly shrugged off the challenge of over 150 competitors to claim victory in Cowes last weekend.
In their striking orange boat – Team 73 – the hard-working and determined duo screamed around the tough circuit to Poole Bay and back to the start in Cowes.
Lores is no stranger to the route, having competed in the race three times before, while Donnelly put his own experience of both the Solent and Poole Bay to good use.
They left the rest of the fleet in their wake to top the podium – over six minutes clear of reigning champions Stuart and Sara Cureton, who were disqualified after losing the cowling from their boat.
A delighted Lores was once again struck by the atmosphere on the Isle of Wight.
‘The atmosphere at Cowes is always amazing’ said the driver.
‘Nowhere else do we get so many varied boats and teams together in one place – its a fantastic sight.
‘The yacht haven is a great place to be based.
‘And spectators can see all the boats from an elevated position on the walkway that surrounds the haven.
‘It’s great to take part in local events – spurred on by our own friends, neighbours and customers.
‘We just hope we did them all proud on Sunday morning.’
The race was the fourth round of the P1 Superstock Championship.
David and Kirsty Toozs-Hobson, from Arundel, were second in Macdonald Mermaid – but retained the overall lead of the series.
Lores and Donnelly are poised and ready to pounce in second, though, with the final round in Weymouth on September 15-16.
But while the duo will be hoping to land another triumph in Dorset next month, they already have one eye on 2013.
Both racers are keen to take part in the Venture Cup, which runs from Cowes to Monte Carlo.
Lores has been invited to lead an all women’s team into the race, while Donnelly could oppose her – provided he can raise the required cash through sponsorship.
‘It will be the toughest race I have ever taken part in,’ said Lores.
‘The [Venture Cup] covers 2,400 miles in 11 legs over 15 days. It makes our hour-long circuit on Sunday look like a mere warm up!’
Grant Harrison is set to assist Lores in getting the team and boat prepared for the epic race.
Lores and Donnelly had originallyplanned to enter the face as a trio with fellow superstock racer Martin Colligan.
However, their Jersey-based friend died from cancer earlier this year.
His death has, though, made them doubly determined to make the start line.