Submitted by Derek’s daughter, Amanda Rundle, Feb 2018
Home Club: South Devon Watersports Club (SDWC)
Started Racing: 1972
Retired from Racing: 1982
Derek started racing shortly after starting his marine business in 1971/72 when enthusiast Guy Williams encouraged him to come along to the local club at Combe Cellars on the Teign Estuary. He was “hooked” and bought Guy’s Bristol mono “La Velocita” racing it with a 50HP Mercury engine at SDWC and further afield.
He quickly progressed to SE then OE class, winning Club Champion status on a number of occasions and competing nationally with some success – including placing third in the British Grand Prix at Bristol in the SE Class in 1973 and OE class in 1974 and 1977. After racing a Molinari catamaran with a 65 Merc for a few years he switched to a new Barracuda built by Grant Morton of Birmingham Powerboats. He often partnered with friend Peter Faithful, an accomplished SE Class racer (home Club London Motor Boat Racing Club based at Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire). In 1973 they came a respectable 7th in the SE Class in the gruelling Paris 6 Hour race and won the slightly different Round London Marathon for inflatable power boats!
Derek ran a Marine Business in Torbay – Brixham Boating Centre/Torbay Boating Centre – which came in very handy for those inevitable boat and engine repairs! Throughout his racing career he was supported by mechanic “Tonto” who now runs his own Marine business in Torbay.
The racing bug continued in the family with brother Colin Rundle who had some racing success in his mono, coming 3rd in the NE Class at Bristol in 1977. Youngest daughter, Lisa, also dabbled at club level and partnered Peter Faithful’s son Marcus in the round London inflatable race.
When not racing competitively, Derek was involved in organising and participating in showcase and fun races at local regattas and for TV. He recalls one occasion when an over enthusiastic Paignton Regatta official’s actions resulted in both him and the start boat occupants taking a swim before the race had even started and he was an instigator of the infamous Exeter Skip race!
Derek’s other maritime exploits included trick water-skiing and skiing across the channel, driving a ski boat over a ski jump on fire for BBC’s Seaside Special, the 1976 Yamaha 100 Hour endurance at Theale, raft races, boating safety films and demonstrations as well as being an active member of Torbay Lifeboat crew for 15 years!
Derek has great memories of his racing days noting the camaraderie, his constant quest to catch the “factory boys” and a particular occasion at the Battersea Thames Royal event when Roger Jenkins got the Royal visitor a bit wet! He still lives in Torbay where he has a great view of the bay and can keep an eye on what’s happening on the water and plans (with his older daughter’s “encouragement”) to sort through the piles of racing trophies, old photographs, boating magazines and parts!
1972 Mono “La Velocita”, Bristol/50HP Mercury
1973 SE “Randicat”, Molinari/65HP Mercury Bristol Race number 58 – 3rd in class)
1974 OE “Typhoon”, Molinari/65HP Mercury (Bristol Race Number 35 – 5th in class)
1975 OE Miles/65HP Mercury (Bristol Race Number 37)
1977 OE “Jet”, Molinari/65HP Mercury (Bristol Race Number 51 – 3rd in class)
1978 – 1981 OE “Brixham Boating Centre”, Barracuda/65HP Mercury
(Bristol Race Numbers 1978- 35, 1979 – 29, 1980 – 49, 1981 - 59)
1973 – British Grand Prix Bristol – 3rd in SE Class
1973 – Paris 6 Hour race – 7th in SE Class with Peter Faithful
“The best British team racing was Derek Rundle Partnered by Peter Faithfull, who, after a steady race, moved up from 15th place at the start to finish seventh overall.”
1973 – Iver International – 2nd in SE Class
1974 - British Grand Prix Bristol – 5th in OE Class. Formula 2 (850cc – 1,500cc)
1974 – London Grand Prix, Nottingham – 2nd in OE Class
1975 – Cardiff International – 3rd in OE Class
1977 - – British Grand Prix Bristol – 3rd in OE Class
1977 – Thames Grand Prix - 3rd in OE Class
“Hill's Strongbow outfit had to fight hard to keep 2nd place from Derek Rundle (who finished third on Saturday) in Brixham Marine (Molinari/Mercury).”
1981 – Exeter
1973 – Round London Inflatable Power Boat Race – 1st with Peter Faithful (Prize giving at 2.04 mins)
1976 Seaside Special racing demo
1976 Yamaha 100 Hour endurance at Theale