Mr Solo legend puts faith in family for Great Race

Retured Mr Solo powerboat driver Ken Charles, right, with newfound navigator and grandson Joseph Charles and Joseph's father, Hayden Charles. - Ronald Daniel
Retured Mr Solo powerboat driver Ken Charles, right, with newfound navigator and grandson Joseph Charles and Joseph's father, Hayden Charles. - Ronald Daniel

MR SOLO Too legend Ken Charles will be cheering on his crew from the sidelines in the 2022 TT Great Race on Saturday and is confident that the team can deliver a quality performance in the annual event hosted by the TT Powerboat Association.

A total of 25 boats will make the journey from the Mucurapo Foreshore in Trinidad to Store Bay, Tobago.

Boats in six classes will compete. There will be a staggered start, with the cruiser one – 50 mile per hour (mph) – class speeding off at 7.15 am.

The cruiser two G Class – 60 mph boats – will begin at 7.25 am, followed by the F Class – 70 mph boats – at 7.30 am.

From 7.45 am, the E Class – 80 mph boats – will start their journey and from 8 am, both the B Class – 120 mph – and the A Class – 130 mph boats – begin their trek.

The A Class will feature former Great Race champions Motul Monster and Mr Solo Too.

In 2021, Monster won the A Class and Mr Solo Too finished second.

Members of various teams who will be participating in the Great Race 2022, at the launch at the Yacht Club, Bayshore, Carenage, Tuesday. - AYANNA KINSALE

Charles, 78, spoke to Newsday on Tuesday at the Great Race Media Launch and Meet and Greet at the TT Yacht Club in Bayshore.

Charles said his son and grandson will be part of the crew.

“Hayden (Charles) will be driving the boat and (my) grandson Joseph (Charles) will be the navigator and Darin Marshall, who will be throttleman,” Charles said.

Charles, who wanted to give his son and grandson an opportunity to compete together, said he will miss taking part.

“It is a bit difficult (to step back this year), especially after having run the boat on Sunday making sure everything is working perfectly. It is going to be hard sitting out and looking at it.”

Timeless in the G class (60 mph) at the Trinidad and Tobago Powerboat Association regatta one in Chaguaramas. FILE PHOTO/RONALD DANIEL -

Charles said the last time he did not participate was about ten years ago.

He's optimistic that his team can deliver.

“I think their chances are excellent, especially after running the boat on Sunday and seeing how it ran. I think they have an excellent chance.”

Over the last few years Tobago has been well-represented in the event. Charles said this augurs well for the race.

“It is very encouraging to see the guys from there participating in it.”

One Tobago boat aiming to make its mark again on Saturday is Limitless.

Driver and navigator of the 60 mph boat Otis Walker said, “You getting the vibe (with the race around the corner)…just preparation and checks (to do now).”

Walker said Limitless did not compete during the 2022 National Championship Regatta season owing to work commitments.

Limitless during the 2021 NLCB Great Race. PHOTO COURTESY RONALD DANIEL -

He said the primary goal is to finish on Saturday.

“My main key is just to get home…once I get home and I look back and I am in front, then I celebrate. You don’t underestimate nobody at all. It is a very long race and right now everybody is on their game.”

Walker said he has respect for all boats in the 60 mph class.

The owner and crew member of Timeless, Gilson Smith, is anticipating race day and hopes the water is not rough.

“We are confident, hoping that the water will be nice and calm. We don’t want too much of rough water to beat up our bodies and beat up the equipment.

"After two years of not really getting to lime in Tobago (because of the covid19 pandemic) we want to reach Tobago and have a good time. Timeless is prepped and ready to go.”

Smith said the mid-section of Timeless was changed to reduce the amount of shaking.

Timeless has been in solid form this year emerging as the high points champion of the National Championship season, which ended in July.

Timeless amassed 3,575 points after the fifth and final event.

“It have stiff competition this year…Timeless has a bullseye on its back, so everybody is aiming for Timeless.

“You can’t underestimate anybody on the day. Anything could happen.”


"Mr Solo legend puts faith in family for Great Race"

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