Tom Montgomery-Swan, owner of Sunus Ocean Racing (SOR), is a man on a mission. Having starred in Episode three of new TV show, ‘The Grand Tour’, alongside Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, he is preparing to take his formidable SOR C237 powerboat on a Round Britain record attempt alongside TV presenter and adventurer, Ben Fogle.
The boat, which began 2017 with an appearance at the London Boat Show, was used during the filming of The Grand Tour’s ‘Ultimate Road Trip through Italy’. It plays a starring role in the comedic final scene in Venice, where Tom collaborates with Richard Hammond to upset Clarkson and May by doing donuts around their gondola. At three metric tonnes in weight, this 32-foot race boat creates a wake, which causes both Clarkson and May to end up in the water.
However, the boat, which Hammond describes as “awesomely fast but extremely well engineered” now has more serious matters to attend to, because in 2017, it aims to break the Round Britain record with Tom at the helm and Ben Fogle as the co-pilot. And the motivation for the event is about much more than merely demonstrating the prowess of this Sceptre-built speed machine; it’s about raising awareness for stillbirth.
After Tom Montgomery-Swan lost his son to stillbirth, he founded the SOR team to create a platform to raise funds and awareness for the issue and to develop a support network for families affected by it. Tom’s co-pilot, adventurer, Ben Fogle, also lost a child to stillbirth in 2014 – so the team’s high-profile activities are continually geared toward the greater recognition and understanding of the issue.
The boat Tom and Ben will be using for their record attempt is a standard Sceptre 32R, equipped in this case with a pair of Mercury’s new 400hp, supercharged, straight-six outboard engines. As the most powerful outboard-powered race boat in Europe, with 50 years of design pedigree behind it and, a top end of around 100mph, it is plainly rigged for performance. But remarkably, this is also a boat that you can rig with lavishly cushioned benches, sundecks and overnighting cabins for regular, everyday use as a family leisure boat.
To find out more about the remarkable Sceptre 32R, about Sunus Ocean Racing, or about Stillbirth Awareness and the team’s Round Britain record attempt, visit Sunus Racing.