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Viareggio, Italy, 1970
now as N.44
Images below courtesy of
S. Margherita, Italy
S. Margherita, 1969
Image below courtesy of
Fabrizio Torroni, &
Maestrelli on Blue 44
Off Shore Powerboat Racing
The Golden Years
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Viareggio–Bastia–Viareggio, July 19th 1970
This was the first of the two races. Actually, at his arrival Count Pasquini was 4th, since Tim Powell 007 was initially disqualified for skipping a buoy close to Gorgona. However, Powell was later readmitted to 4th in the final standings
Order of arrival :
1st "Black Tornado" (Cary Marine 32' - MerCruiser) - Vincenzo Balestrieri (ITA)- Jack Stuteville (USA) - in 3h 09' 01'' 8 – average speed 58,72 knots
2nd "Red Tornado" (Bertram 32' - MerCruiser) - Francesco Cosentino (ITA) - Mike Vandemberg (USA) - in 3h 09' 55'' 3 - average speed 58,44 knots
3rd "Mister Charly" (Bertram 32' - MerCruiser) - Ronny Bonelli (ITA) - Attilio Petroni (ITA) - in 3h 15' 55'' - average speed 56,65 knots
4th "Avenger Double O Seven" (Allday 33' - MerCruiser) - Pascoe Watson (GB) - Tim Powell (GB) - in 3h 42' 13'' 5 - average speed 49,95 knots
5th "Blue Tornado" (Magnum 28' - MerCruiser) - Walter Pasquini (ITA) – Antonio Guidi (ITA) in 3h 46' 52'' 8 - average speed 48,92 knots
6th "Gnam VI" (Cosca - BPM) - Emilio Mangini (ITA) - in 5h 01' 18'' 7 - average speed 36,84 knots
7th "Vota Pensieri" (Sapri 27' - Volvo Penta) – Petrone - Petrilli - in 6h 58' 36'' - average speed 26,51 knots
8th "Superfisherman" (Mochi Craft 25' - Perkins) - Renato Raffaelli
Grand Prix du Lac Léman, September 20th 1970
Order of arrival :
1st "Miss Enfield 2"- Tommy Sopwith
2nd "Blue Tornado" - Walter Pasquini & Vincenzo Balestrieri
The Grand Prix du Lac Léman, organized by Société Nautique de Genève, was not an official World Championship race but both Walter and Vincenzo decided to participate together with Blue Tornado. No other OP1 powerboat, aside Miss Enfield 2, participated.
Mark, Walter's nephew recalls: "At dinner at the Baur Au Lac, where we all were staying, I was allowed to ask a question to Mr. Balestrieri: why he was participating with my uncle and not with his Black Tornado. Somehow he replied this way:
1) It was a “friendly race” and it was good training before going to the States for some important race valid for the championship, (he eventually won…);
2) He knew that Tommy Sopwith was participating, (w/Miss Enfield 2) and this was making good sense for participating as well…
3) He was pleased in running with my uncle, he retained a good teammate and also friend."
Mark, further recounts: "Unfortunately uncle Walter, only a couple of weeks after such race, perished in a car accident on the highway. It was Friday October 9th, 1970.
The funeral took place in Rome a few days later, but Mr. Balestrieri could not be present due to the race(s) on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. I remember my aunt reporting that, on the phone, he was very touched and promised he would have dedicated his eventual victory to his friend Walter."
I would like to thank Mark Attilio Freney for contributing these photos and the stories for the Tornado Racing Team website.
Viareggio Bastia Viareggio
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