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Bedford Grand Prix.

Hi All, Just a few days now until the Bedford Grand Prix ,this is being held at Stewartby lake,near Bedford this coming weekend.

Once again I am looking forward to seeing the battles which will for sure be taking place in each class,but even more so this time as you may have realised I like taking powerboat racing photographs and have just got a new lens which should suit Stewartb down to the ground.We shall see.

Going through the classes with 2 more meetings to go in the championship this season there are still lots of points up for grabs and lots of drivers after them.Not all the the class championship classes are won yet by any means.

Gt 15 has been a season long battle between Harvey Smith and George Elmore with Harvey who has been racing in European and World championships abroad as well as the British Championship this season has the advantage ,but one slip up and the points difference would be wiped out.The thing I have enjoyed about this class in 2017 is seeing new drivers entering the championship race and Jessica Haylock and Jamie Atlee should be taking part here and gaining yet more experience.Ethan Goodfellow and Aiden Fleet will be waiting in the wings if the two leaders have problems.2598copy copy

The next class up is GT30 and here the season long battle has been between Thomas Mantripp and Jonny Brewer with Thomas holding a points lead due to Jonny having a bad meeting at Carr Mill earlier in the season.Jack Pickles and Tiegen Goodfellow have been snapping at their heels all season and it would be no surprise to see one of them  have the beating of Thomas and Jonny.Just recently Astra London has been teting her Gt 30 at Oulton Broad and is getting used to the new class after moving up from GT15.

OSY400 the only hydroplane class racing this weekend the man to beat has been Jamie Marr who has shown some very good speed in his new Estonian Mosquito boat.Wayne Moyse has the ex World Champioship winning hull of Rasmus Haugasmagi and although still getting it set up correctly Stewartby will probably suit this Povatt boat,another from Estonia by the way.Jason Mantripp will not want to give up the Championship he won last year without a fight and will be using all his experience to get to the front.

T 850 and”Mr Bill “Owen will be expected to win here although nothing is ever certain in racing and Nigel Edwards is not to far behind him with Steve Cash and John Donnelly also in this class we should have some excellent and sporting racing.534 copy

F4 has been for me about the best class to watch this year,Ben Morse holds the lead at the moment with Rob Veares and Ben Jelf  close behind ,after his Third place last weekend in the European Championship in Germany Ben Jelf has to be taken very seriously and with the Lonnberg hull now set up well he will not lack for speed .Rob Veares has been so consistent this season in his very well presented black  boat and will expect to be there or there abouts again.After his accident at the Sprint championship meeting Leon King has been using the outfit of Ray Read and he is another who has been testing at Oulton Broad.

Now onto F2 ,after what has been a difficult season in a lot of ways Colin Jelf is still holding the lead in this class,but as was shown at the Sprints an engine problem etc can let someone else like Paul Balfour,Steve Hoult or Mark Williams in for a win.I am not certain at this stage whether Matt Palfreyman will be racing but after the cancellation of the latest round of the World Champioship last weekend due to bad weathe he may be ,if so he is always a driver tow watch.

Action starts at about 10 oclock Saturday and Sunday so lets hope the weather gods are on our side and we should have some brilliant racing.Come along and give us a look ,free entry and you just may be able to get some super photos and get a good closer look at the drivers and boats.

Bob H. PowerboatGP photographer.

 

 

 

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The first round of the National Championship.

Carr Mill dam,near St Helens,Lancashire hosted the first round of the RYA/PowerboatGP British Championship last weekend.

This is not going to be a report as such just my impressions of the meeting.1625

The first boats on the water for qualifying were the OSY400 class,these boats were competing at Carr Mill for the first time in a few years and for most of the drivers it was a new experience.Almost as soon as qualifying had started the red flags were flying as Jamie Marr in his Estonian Mosquito boat was caught out by a gust of wind and flipped over,fortunately he was not hurt and the boat only had minor damage.

Most of Saturday was taken up with Qualifying ,each class had at least one race each also,with the rest to come on Sunday.

In all classes there were some close times in the qualifying sessions and the races were sure to be very close.Although the weather looked quite good drivers reported a gusty wind on the course and they certainly had to wary .

Starting at the begining in the GT15 Class,in the first heat Harvey Smith,no.9,had a bad start but soon worked his way to the front and stayed there till the end,holding off Caleb Jelf,Aiden Fleet and George Elmore who was having engine problems.George`s pit crew changed engines overnight and this seemed to make all the difference as he won the other two heats,however as the engine was changed he had to lose the points gained with the first one.Overall winner and very well deserved was Harvey Smith,who had the customary dunking on his first national win.

Gt 30 Class was well attended ,and for the first time on this course they had to race on the full L shaped course including the right hand turn ,not a usual thing for this class.In the first heat 2 boats were docked a lap for missing a turn marker  and when the chequered flag fell Thomas Mantripp was the winner.One driver who was competitive in all three heats was Jack Pickles and he finished just behind Thomas in second place after 3 heats.077

F4 had the most entries and some of the best racing in all 3 heats Ben Morse and Rob Veares were neck and neck ,in fact in heats 2 and 3 Rob held the lead until Ben managed to find a way past with some great driving.Ben Jelf had a good meeting in 3rd place.

OSY400 Class may not have had the most entries but still gave us some good racing .Last years champion Jason Mantripp in the Slovakian Bazinsky hull won overall with a dried out Jamie Marr in second.

The T850`s were also here to entertain the crowds and Mark Williams was racing in this class as well as F2,Mark who is a multi times T850 champion and has lost none of his skill,won the meeting from Local Lancashire driver Bill Owen.

In the F2 Class Colin Jelf had his boat and engine set up perfectly and took all 3 heats from Paul Balfour.677

So what can we get from the first round,I think in all classes the racing is going to be close this season and trying to predict who will end up as the champion yet is impossible.If I have learnt anything in 40 years of spectating it is that it`s not over till the final flag.It was also good to see so many spectators watching around the lake especially on Sunday.After all these events are free entry and always exciting to watch.

So as I always say at the end of these blogs,why not go along to meeting and see for yourself.You may even fancy a go and all clubs have training packages available.

The next Championship round is at Oulton Broad on the Bank holiday weekend at the end of May.

See you there adreneline junkies.

Bob,Powerboat GP.1625

 

 

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