Wild Eleven On The Water in Poole

The Windcraft racing team participated in its first race of the offshore season, entering its iconic 38-foot Cigarette Hawk, Wild Eleven, in the Offshore 1 class at Poole in Dorset on Sunday 9 June.

The races that day were the first in the World Offshore Championship series organised by the UK Offshore Powerboat Racing Association (UKOPRA) over this summer, with further races in the series due in July off the island of Guernsey and concluding in late August with contests over the long and challenging Torquay to Cowes course.

Driver Jerome Brarda and throttleman Eric Adam were joined by navigator  Gordon Compton, a very experienced offshore racer who has competed in long endurance races such as the Round Britain powerboat race, London to Monte Carlo, and the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes circuit.

Wild Eleven is lifted into the water at Poole Marina
Wild Eleven is lifted into the water at Poole Marina

As they purchased Wild Eleven just last January, the team spent all the months since, up to the last minute in Southampton, preparing and tuning the machine, which is powered by two 600HP Mercury V8 engines.

Unfortunately, with just about ten minutes left in the 1.5-hour race,  Wild Eleven suffered fuel pump difficulties and had to retire. But Brarda, whose involvement in the sport goes back to 1986, pronounced himself delighted with her performance.

“This is a very stable and safe boat,” he said. “I’ve got another Cigarette, an earlier and slightly shorter model, and the improvement in stability is remarkable.

“We’ll be properly ready for the next race on Guernsey once we sort out the fuel pumps, and I’ve no doubt this boat gives us an excellent chance of winning one or more races during the season. The engines ran beautifully and we are very happy with the boat’s performance”

Wild Eleven raced under the flag of Monaco, where she is registered. But it took three nationalities to defend the colours of the glamorous principality, renowned worldwide for its luxurious way of life and its major sports events such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Tennis Masters of Monte Carlo — Brarda, an American sportsman, raced under the US flag, while Eric Adam flew the French tricolour and Gordon Thompson the Union Jack.

Wild Eleven powering across the bay at Poole
Wild Eleven, crewed by Jerome Brarda, Eric Adam, and Gordon Compton, speeds across Poole Bay during the WOC race on 9 June

Adam’s involvement in motorsports spans more than 30 years, starting in powerboats in the Leader Offshore Racing team of the late ex-Formula 1 driver Didier Pironi, then in rallying, then managing a major car racing team with Ferrari in the prestigious World Endurance Championship. Filling the role of throttleman with Windcraft Racing marks his return to offshore powerboating.

Windcraft Racing’s audiovisual media partner InterZone Pictures will begin filming at the next WOC race off Guernsey early next July, and in the meantime Windcraft will set a date for Wild Eleven‘s first speed record attempt. The team will consider several possible routes, including Portsmouth (UK) to Cherbourg (France), Monte Carlo to St Tropez, or Monte Carlo to Cannes.

The team will be back in action on 6 July, when the Guernsey Powerboat Association will host the Guernsey Gold Cup from the 5th to the 8th of the month. Seven boats will contest Class 1, including Poole winner Tommy One, piloted by Maurizio Schepici and Giampaolo Montavoci.

Crew list on side of Wild Eleven

Jerome Brarda aims to smash Miami-Bimini speed record

WORLD FAMOUS offshore powerboat racer Jérôme Brarda aims to beat the world speed record for his class between Miami and Bimini Island this year.

Brarda will drive his 42-foot Supercat from Miami to Bimini Island and back on 31 October next, hoping to crack the existing time for the run with the help of an ace new throttleman.

Brarda driving his 42' Supercat at the OPA Championship in Florida. He will attempt to break the speed record from Miami to Bimini this year
Brarda driving his 42′ Supercat at the OPA Championship in Florida

The event will screen on live TV and via Internet streaming. Irish production company InterZone Pictures will use the speed record footage in a new series of documentaries it plans to produce, focused on the sport of offshore powerboat racing, its history and folklore.

Speed record will be challenge for men and machine

Our first speed record run of the 2015/16 season is scheduled for 31 October. One thing we are sure of — we are going to smash some records!

We are also planning a series of three documentaries focused on offshore powerboat racing, its history and its folklore. That’s because Jerome Brarda competed alongside actor Don Johnson back in the days when Don’s Team America was setting world records in the Superboat class. Jerome continues to race, and will drive our 12.8 metre Supercat in the speed record attempts.

Jerome Brarda's 42-foot Supercat in interZone Pictures livery
Jerome Brarda’s 42-foot Supercat in interZone Pictures livery at the start of a race last year

Jerome Brarda

Jerome Brarda started his career in Europe in race cars. 

After a successful tryout in Offshore Powerboat racing, Jerome crossed the Atlantic in 1990 to join the famous Team America owned by Miami Vice star Don Johnson. Jerome competed intensively alongside Don in the Superboat class, setting world records.

Jerome Brarda on the winners' podium at the World Offshore Championship in Turkey
Jerome Brarda on the winners’ podium at the World Offshore Championship in Turkey

Jerome did not abandon car racing, though. In 1993 he entered a seven year race program with Porsche in the GT Class, winning major Endurance Grand Prix worldwide.

In 2007 he returned to offshore powerboat racing in the US  at the highest level, helming a Supercat. Jerome also races in the World Offshore Championship, and has developed a successful media and TV presence as host for several specialised international channels.