I love the night before a race weekend. Sitting here in my living room, I am surrounded by lenses, memory cards, and the flashing lights of charging camera batteries, and the anticipation is building. For me, a race weekend is so much more than qualifying and three heats. As I write, most of the competitors are already at Carr Mill, and with the action on the water scheduled to start at 10am tomorrow, I am planning my arrival at the clubhouse for around 8am. This is one of my favourite times to shoot. The early morning light (weather dependant of course) and attention to detail that the teams exhibit in their tents can make for some really interesting compositions. It is also a time that allows for the more social element of my weekend.
During racing, the teams all tend to be very busy. The structure of the weekend means that once a particular class has been out on the water their boats are recovered to the pits, any necessary work is done to prepare for the next heat, and then there is often very little time before the boats have to be launched again. The early mornings are an opportunity to talk to people. A time when, in my experience, there is (a little) less pressure on.
Come 10am tomorrow, adrenaline levels will rise, noise levels will rise, and the woodland around Carr Mill Dam will echo with the sound of outboard motors as the competitors set about the task of establishing themselves at the right end of the jetty ahead of Heat 1. Carr Mill is a long way to travel for some people. So far that they only race there once a year. Others, race there month in month out. Will home advantage play a part? What role will the weather play in proceedings? Only time will tell I guess. I’m ready to find out.
Bring on the 2016 Powerboat GP Lancashire Grand Prix.