AN ACCLAIMED motorboat racing correspondent and journalist, who was based on the Isle of Wight, has died at the age of 89.

Ray Bulman died on New Year's Day at his home in Cowes, with his wife Brenda by his side.

She has since received hundreds of condolence emails from around the globe.

Born in 1930, Mr Bulman was brought up in Edgware, Middlesex,

Mr Bulman started work as a messenger for the Post Office in central London at the age of 14 during the latter stages of the Second World War. He went on to become the chief press officer for the Post Office.

He moved into journalism and most enjoyed writing about boats in London in the 1950s, rapidly developing a fascination for powerboats.

He was soon regarded as one of the world's most distinguished authorities on the subject, writing for several publications, most notably the Daily Telegraph and Motorboat & Yachting magazine.

A jet-setting lifestyle ensued, with Mr Bulman often leaving his office in London on a Friday to take a Concorde to the USA, where he would cover powerboat races.

It was during these regular expeditions he got to know the actor, Paul Newman.

He relocated to the Island in 1972 and became a familiar face in local sailing circles, with powerboats remaining his main area of interest.

Cowes-based journalist, James Leavey, said: "Ray was a remarkable raconteur with a near-perfect memory and decorated career in journalism.

"He will be much missed by his family and huge number of friends and fans around the world.

"We were friends for almost 40 years and worked closely on many things, including running the press office for the UK Offshore Boating Association, and the BT Whitbread Around the World Race in 1989/90."