IN THE grand finale to the powerboat racing season, the Isle of Wight's Frankie Rose finished it in fine style by breaking a world record on the same waters made famous by Bluebird legend, Donald Campbell.

The marine engineer, of Gurnard, was taking part in this year’s Coniston Powerboat Records Week in the Lake District, aiming to smash as many as three records.

The 31-year-old, driving his iconic single engine monohull, Vintage Torque, which won him the famous Cowes-Poole-Cowes race in August, not only beat the British record of 94.67mph, he smashed the world record in the ProVee class, which had stood at 97mph — beating it with a speed of 101mph.

“It was a record which had not been attempted in 14 years,” explained Frankie.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight powerboat racing star Frankie Rose, on board Vintage Torque, which he drove to a new ProVee world record at Coniston Lake last week.  Photo: Malc Attrill

Frankie was also at Coniston Waters to try to break his own British record of 106.80mph in the single-engine monohull class and the world record in the unlimited class.

“This year, the team decided to try and break three records. We may have got carried away with ourselves as this year proved to be much more challenging,” Frankie added.

“During the first attempt, we soon realised the water was so calm it was ‘sticking’ to the hull and slowing us down, so to hit top speeds, we had to adjust the trim and drive settings to release the boat from the water.

“The boat is designed to run on a cushion of air generated from steps in the hull, and as the boat travels through the water, it creates air bubbles which reduce friction and increase speed.

“The average speed of our first attempt was 94mph, well off our previous year’s speed in the monohull class.

“We developed a serious vibration from the drive and returned to the pits to investigate.

“By the next day, we still hadn’t identified the problem, so the last option was to replace the propeller with a similar one we had borrowed.”

Isle of Wight County Press:

Frankie Rose after he won the famous Cowes-Poole-Cowes powerboat race in August.

Wednesday arrived, much wetter than the previous two days, after being spoilt with sunshine. However, the hard work paid off.

“The boat was performing much better and we broke the existing world ProVee record.

“We continued to try to improve on this, but the flat conditions were not in our favour and we couldn’t meet last year’s speeds — and with the weather not forecast to change, we realised we weren’t going to get near the other records we’d hoped to break and packed the boat away.”

Frankie is part of an elite group, the K7 Club, founded by Donald Campbell to celebrate powerboat drivers who have reached more than 100mph on the water, as well as those crucially involved in powerboat racing.

Campbell, who broke eight absolute world speed records on water and on land in the 1950s and 60s, died in his Bluebird K7 on Coniston Water in January 1967.