With JW Myers in the cockpit, the Peters & May Unlimited hydroplane reached a record-setting average speed of 175.11 mph on Nov. 5, the first the first day of Coniston Power Boat Records Week, on the famed English waterway. As required in the Coniston rulebook, the hydro made two 1-kilometer passes—one in each direction on the course—within 20 minutes of one another to achieve its two-way average speed.
As it turned out, bad weather prevented the hydro, which is co-owned by Myers and Scott and Shannon Raney, from attempting to break the three records it set on day one of the event. According to a press release from Peters & May, those records are a World Record for the fasted speed achieved in class, the British Record for the fastest speed achieved in class and the record for fastest propeller-driven boat ever to run on British waters.
Despite the bad weather, the Peters & May Unlimited hydroplane was able to make a few demonstration runs for the crowd on hand.
“The team achieved everything that we set out to do,” said David Holley, the chief executive officer of Peters & May, in the release. “As well as setting the record, we were able to honor Mike Lovell (a Peters & May-backed driver who died in a Powerboat P1 Super Stock Series crash in September in Weymouth, England) and at the same time create further awareness for powerboat racing in both the UK & the USA. Our commitment to the sport remains as strong as ever and the future is bright.”
Coniston Water is historically significant in the water speed-record world for the multiple attempts made there during the years. The waterway is best known for Donald Campbell’s fatal attempt at the world water speed record in January 1976, when his boat Bluebird K7 flipped and disintegrated at more than 300 mph.
“The team achieved everything that we set out to do,” said Holley. “The boat ran way below its optimum speed as we ran conservatively to preserve all of the equipment for the upcoming Oryx Cup event in Doha. It was great to set a record based on the current laws of H1 Unlimited, we adhered to all the regulations including the fuel flow restriction (4.1GPM) as well as N2 restrictions and skid fin/prop measurements. We aimed to set a benchmark record, which we did and the fact that we did it in memory of Mike Lovell made it a very emotional time for us all.”