Search

Powerboat GP blog

Adrenaline junkies this is for you

Tag

OSY

Lowestoft GP – The Sea Mist Cometh

For me it was a late start by the water on Monday. Software issues on Sunday night meant that I was delayed looking at the days photographs, so after breakfast it was back to my room so I could at least get qualifying processed before heading back to the water.
When I arrived I arranged this time to be dropped off on a jetty on the far side so I could get a slightly different view of the boats exiting the Wherry Turn. Following a brief free practice session for each class, and the realignment of the start jetty after the increasing winds had blown it out of position, the F4 drivers lined their boats up ready to get the second round of heats underway. Around this time, the weather was beginning to turn as the fresher winds blew the clouds overhead. It was considerably cooler than Sunday, and I was starting to regret paying the forecast so little attention.

The F4 race went off without serious incident with all seven starters finishing in an almost exact copy of Heat 1’s result. Ben Jelf showed just how hard he was pushing to close the gap to Rob Veares when he spun coming out of the Wherry Turn, but it was another dominant performance by Ben Morse that saw him take maximum points so far.

The drivers in the next class, GT15, never cease to amaze me. Talking to them in the pits, they all show such levels of maturity and a love of what they’re doing. The form set on Sunday continued into Monday, with George Elmore taking Heat 2 ahead of Harvey Smith and Aiden Fleet. I also can’t take anything away from Ethan Goodfellow or Joseph and Jessica Haylock. All these young drivers drove brilliantly all weekend, but it was what happened after the chequered flag dropped that really made an impression. At some point George had spotted me on the far bank. There was no reason for him to be looking to where I was but he did, and following his win he looked straight down my lens and gave me a celebratory wave. A classy touch from such a young man.

DSC_2695

The GT30’s went on to provide some of the hardest-fought racing of the weekend as Thomas Mantripp and Jonathan (Jono) Brewer battled it out for the top spot and Tiegen Goodfellow and Jack Pickles fought over third and fourth. Ultimately, Monday’s races went one a piece to Thomas and Jono while the battle between Tiegen and Jack went Jack’s way both times despite Tiegen’s best efforts.

DSC_3966

Bill Owen continued his winning form in the T850 class, but it was Nigel Edwards who took the second spot on the second day of racing with Steve Cash third in Heat 2 and unfortunately failing to finish Heat 3.

DSC_4230.jpg

The OSY class, with seven entires, also provided some great racing over the weekend. Brian Shulver, having switched to the class this year, was clearly loving every minute of racing this new class, and the last time I saw Bexley Nunn racing he was in a GT30. He too seemed very comfortable racing in this very different category. The weekend belonged to James Marr though, who continued his streak of lights to flag victories.

DSC_3186

The final second heat, for the F2’s, went off without incident but then throughout the afternoon, a patchy sea mist rolled in from the coast and there were a number of occassions where Heat 3 starts had to be delayed because visibility was deemed to be too poor. I even heard locals saying they had never seen it roll in and sit over the broads they way it was doing. Prior to their lining up, there was talk of sending one of the F2 drivers out on a sighting lap to establish how suitable the conditions were. It was decided though that this would not be neccessary and when the Officer of the Day spotted a gap in the mist he gave the intruction for the boats to line up on the pontoon. In a repeat of the weekend’s previous results, Colin Jelf converted his pole position into another win, albeit over a shortened race distance as the combination of mist and lingering boat exhausts caused the race to be cut short on safety grounds. An impressive drive from Mark Williams saw him hold off Paul Balfour and take second in both Heats 2 and 3, with local driver Ray Birnie coming home fourth. Unfortunatly Steve Hoult suffered a mechanical issue with his new Molgaard and was unable to compete in the day’s heats.

DSC_4469

From here, we now look forward to heading Stewartby in a little over a month. On the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of July we will be hosting a round of the F4 World Championships and the GT30, F125 and F250 European Champonships. This promises to be yet another weekend of action, with competitors from around the world descending on Bedfordshire, and a host of British drivers joining the fray too.

We hope to see you there, and in the meantime, keep up to date on our Facebook page and by continuing to read (and like) our blog.

Bryan – Powerboat GP Photographer

Lowestoft GP – The story so far…

I don’t think there’s any way to start this other than by echoing what I heard from so many people in the pits after the day’s racing was finished. What a day! The weather couldn’t have been better for day 1 of the Lowestoft GP, and for the first couple of hours after I arrived in the pits I did as I always do and made a point of saying hi to anyone I had not yet seen. I love this time in the pits. People are busy, but normally not too busy to talk, and also they are generally quite relaxed. It gives some great opportunities for photographs that show a side to racing that a lot of people don’t often see: the sometimes qute delicate work that goes into preparing the boats, the bustling within the garages when the scrutineers turn up, and the routines that different people have and go through when preparing to race.DSC_8678

When the boats then hit the water for their qualifying session I had joined them on one of the safety boats stationed out around the course.  The course here is brilliant for photographers in a lot of ways, allowing plenty of access very close to the water.  The probelm is, from a photographers point of view, I always want to get the shot that no-one else got, and that means getting where no-one else is. Having gained permission from the Officer of the Day, Rescue Officer and Jetty Marshall, I donned my life jacket and we headed out to sit off the exit of the Wherry Turn.

Qualifying was great to watch, with drivers in all the classes giving it their all to try to claim pole position. Then when race time came around everybody was well and truly ready, and the calibre of racing was very high. The F4’s were the first class out and Ben Morse dominated the day, claiming pole by over a second from Rob Veares in qualifying and leading the race from lights to flag. George Elmore was equally dominant in the GT15 sessions, again taking both pole position and the win. GT30 qualifying was the most disrupted session of the day with two stappages, but at the end of it Tiegen Goodfellow came out on top with a cracking lap that put her first by 0.11s. Unfortunately for Tiegen she wasn’t able to maintain her position and she finished third behind Thomas Mantripp and Jonny Brewer.

DSC_0221

The T850 class were the next on the water, and in qualifying it soon became clear that Jason Brewer’s boat was not the happiest it has ever been. The remaining three drivers fought hard amongst themselves for pole but it was Nigel Edwards who ultimately came out on top. Sadly when their race came, Nigel was unable to get away from the start pontoon and it was Bill Owen who crossed the line first, leading Steve Cash and Nigel. Nationally, LOBMBC is the home of the OSY class and it was great to see seven on these fantastic little boats on the water. Returning to the form set by the first two classes, the pole-sitter went on to take the victory, with a lead of over half a second in qualifying and a convincing win. The final boats in each session were the F2’s. Due to international commitments for some drivers the field was slightly depleted today, but the five drivers who were here put on a brilliant display of driving and in qualifying the boats in second to fourth were covered by a little over a third of a second. But it was Colin Jelf who claimed the top spot and later went on to convert this to a heat 1 win, I believe setting a lap record in the process.

DSC_0693

So now we look to today, which for me will consist of pretty much the same again, only with possibly more frequent applications of sun cream. For the drivers, some are aiming to go out there and do it all again, repeating today’s performances. Others will have taken the evening to gather their thoughts, regroup, and will be going out there tomorrow to aim to improve on their points haul today.

The action on the water starts with free practice at 12pm at Nicholas Everitt Park, with Heats 2 and 3 following throughout the afternoon.

Newcomers Join The Party

For me, the Lancashire GP was a brilliant way to kick off the season. The racing was great, it was fantastic to see OSY’s racing round Carr Mill again, and the overall atmosphere of the event was exactly what you want for the first race of the year. The biggest and nicest surprise for me though, came in the form of the number of new or returning drivers that were taking part.

DSC_3335

The GT15 fleet was boosted by the arrival of Jessica Haylock and Caleb Jelf, both of whom certainly proved their worth over the course of the weekend, and the GT30 field was increased even more as Ralph White, Jayme Speller and Andy Cousins entered the mix. Newcomer to the series, Brad Holman complimented the OSY field, and the F4 field was the largest we’ve seen in recent years thanks to the arrivals of Martin Wood, John Donnelly, Ray Read, and the return of Mike Pillow.

DSC_3256

One thing that was obvious during the races was that everyone, regardless of their experience competing at national level, gave their all out on the water. The action was fast, sometimes frantic and occasionally frenzied, and the spectators on the banks and up at the clubhouse were treated to a brilliant display by all six classes.

DSC_7737DSC_7336

From a personal perspective, I took the opportunity to try out some new equipment, with varying results, but sometimes you have no alternative but to try things out “in the field” as it were. As I’m sure all the drivers will agree, you can test all you like but there’s no real substitute for getting out there in the thick of it to put your equipment through it’s paces.

So our attention turns now to the Lowestoft GP which will be wrapping up a week from now. Lowestoft & Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club (or LOBMBC, the world’s oldest motorboat racing venue) has seen bumper fields this season for their regular Thursday night race meetings, and with their large spectator area and great location this coming weekend has everything set to provide two great days of racing and family entertainment.

The action takes place on Sunday and Monday at LOBMBC, Nicholas Everitt Park in Lowestoft. If you haven’t done so before, come down and see what we’re all about – and feel free to say hello if you see me about!

Bryan

Powerboat GP Photographer

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑