New Navigator for Eclipse at Cowes


Leading P1 SuperStock team Eclipse is delighted to confirm that 17-year-old Lucci Levi - granddaughter of Powerboat racing royalty Sir Max Aitken and Lady Violet Aitken - will make her competitive debut in the fourth round of the 2011 championship in Cowes this weekend, 27/28 August as part of the British Powerboat Festival.

Lucci, daughter of the Honourable Laura Aitken, will continue her family's long standing involvement with the sport by becoming guest navigator for the weekend to Rose Lores (Stubbington, Hampshire) in the team's front-running P1 150 Class boat.

Furthermore, the teenager - who lives in Cowes - will be participating in an event previously contested by both her mother and grandmother so, with such a fabulous racing heritage, there will be plenty of attention on the P1 SuperStock newcomer throughout the weekend on the Isle of Wight.Hendricks Internationale Spedition, a logistics company owned by 2009 Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race winner Markus Hendricks, has pledged sponsorship backing to Eclipse for the event on the strength of Lucci's involvement. This will be in addition to the team's regularsupport from Southampton specialist home automation company The Solent Electronic Home.

"We're really looking forward to the event and having Lucci as part of the team. This will be her debut in anything like this but she's far from a novice on water", explained Rose, "Lucci joining Eclipse all came about through John Moore (Race Director of the British Powerboat Racing Club), I think her mum has been waiting all these years to get Lucci involved and we're delighted it'll be with us at Eclipse."The Aitken family's involvement with Powerboat racing is legendary and stretches back more than 50 years with Sir Max Aitken having been responsible for introducing the sport into Europe in 1961. He also founded the London Boat Show and, along with John Coote, established the rules which led to the inauguration of the prestigious Cowes-Torquay-Cowes offshore powerboat race.Although preferring calmer waters, Eclipse pilot Rose Lores is looking forward to the challenge which the fourth round of the P1 SuperStock season will provide. This will be run on the Cowes-Poole-Cowes course which she has tackled over the past couple of years - in 2010 she competed alongside Team Fox racer Martin Colligan (St Helier, Jersey).In the P1 150 championship standings Eclipse is currently in the runner-up spot behind Team Purple, Stuart and Sara Cureton (Lindford, Hampshire), and with only three races remaining in the 2011season Rose says overturning the 22 point deficit will be extremely tough.

She adds: "We can't complain about being in second place. At the start of the year we did have high hopes for the championship but, frustratingly, Purple keeps winning! I really want to try and catch them but the points gap is very big and, with only one race in Cowes, there are just three races left in total. We could do with an extra race in Liverpool (season finale on 10/11 September) to make up for it."We need to get the balance set-up right, which we didn't in Hull, and we need to make the boat more stable for Cowes. Keeping the boat at full speed and under full control is very tough in the sort of rough conditions we're likely to have - I'm hoping for great weather though and for the water to be as calm as possible!"   John Donnelly (Havant, Hampshire), navigator for Eclipse during the previous round in Hull, will remain as chief navigator for the Cowes event while also working as the team engineer.

Practice for the P1 150 boats and the P1 250 Panther craft will take place on Saturday, 27 August, ahead of the main Cowes-Poole-Cowes points-scoring race on Sunday, 28 August.