The very special powerboats of SafeHaven Marine in East Cork have multiple uses, but high speed potential in a wide variety of sea conditions is invariably top of a list of very demanding priorities among the highly-regarded company’s prestigious customers.
So when the notion of a Round Ireland and Rockall Powerboat Record first surfaced, inevitably it came from the fertile and visionary mind of SafeHaven’s Frank Kowalksi. And in July, his latest Youghal-built creation Thunder Child took on the 2000-plus kilometres challenge, going anti-clockwise and using refuelling stops at Portrush in County Antrim on the outward passage from the start/finish point of the Old Head of Kinsale, and Ballyglass on Broadhaven in Mayo on the return.
While conditions were favourable, in July’s unsettled weather there were bound to be some distinctly bumpy stages on such a long and exposed course, while many sections near land were notably tide-riven. Yet despite this, Thunder Child came back in round the Old Head of Kinsale on the evening of July 5th just 34 hours one minute and 47 seconds after departing, an average of 32 knots.
The crew of the 17m (53ft 6ins) Thunder Child who supported Frank Kowalski in this Sailor of the Month July Special Award were Ian Brownlee, Ciaran Monks, Mary Power, Peter Gurgul and Carl Randalls.