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Powerboat Racing behind the scenes.

Hi all,With news still being in short supply and the 2017 powerboat season getting closer I thought I would give all you newcomers a bit of a look at what goes on behind the scenes at any National Championship powerboat meeting.

The first thing that happens on the day of the race is scrutineering,which means that every boat that has entered has to be checked by one of the appointed technical team.They are checked for all the relevent safety regulations for both the boat and driver.Also each boat has to meet the rules laid down for that class.

Once the driver and boat has passed inspection they can sign in with the Race Secretary,who will check the driver licence and any certificates needed for the boat and make sure it has passed the technical inspection.They may also collect any entry fees outstanding.

After this drivers are free to prepare their boats for the practice/qualifying sessions to come.

Before any boat is allowed on the water,the officer of the day,basically the person in charge of the event calls a drivers briefing,which is compulsory for all drivers,the younger drivers in class GT15 have to be accompanied by an adult to these briefings.The briefings will cover anything the officer of the day thinks the drivers need to know ,such as how the course is laid out,order of racing,timings and any other race business.This also gives the drivers a chance to ask any questions they may have.

During the racing any boat that has an accident will be rechecked to make sure it is safe to race again,and any protests may be heard by the jury which usually comprises of one member of each club that has a driver competing(in international racing this will be one person from each country competing).

All national meetings in the UK are attended by an Royal Yachting Association (the governing body) official who makes sure the rules are kept to.

After racing the first 3 boats in each class are parked in a secure area and the engines and boats checked to make sure they are legal as to size etc.Once these have been completed the prize giving can bve arranged another thing that is compulsory for all drivers to attend.

This gives just a brief idea of what is going on behind the scenes at the races you may attend.

Try coming to one of our meetings this year I`m sure you will enjoy it we aare all a friendly bunch.

Bob -Powerboat gp photographer

 

 

 

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Focus On… Harvey Smith – F1 Atlantic GB (GT15)

Over the course of the Kingsbury GP weekend, one of our “Focus On…” features will be following young GT15 driver, Harvey Smith. Having switched to a Povvat hull for 2016, Harvey is enjoying a great year so far, having finished 2nd overall in both previous events. This puts him 3rd in the championship battle, only 5 points away from 2nd, with the leader just 1 point further ahead. This evening I spoke to Harvey’s dad, Martyn, to find out how the teams preparations for Kingsbury are going.

LowestoftGP_20160501_38057F1 Atlantic GB’s GT15 team have a busy time ahead of them. Currently getting ready for the Kingsbury GP, they are also beginning to gear up for the Cannock GP two weeks later, after which they will head to Estonia for the GT15 World Championships. Martyn told me that the team have been testing and evaluating a range of props and with the combination of the new hull, testing, and Harvey’s motivation to win, they have made considerable gains over their lap times last year.

The team are very down to earth. They appreciate that everything has to come together on the day, no matter how much prep you put in before the weekend. That said, Harvey I believe is ready to win. Personally I have noticed a difference in Harvey’s driving this year. He’s stepped up, and this weekend he will have a mentor in the form of F1 Atlantic GB team mate, F2 driver Matt Palfreymen, fresh from his 2nd place at Round 2 of the UIM F2 World Championships in Campione d’Italia. Will this be Harvey’s weekend?

LowestoftGP_20160501_38673Come along to the Kingsbury GP at Kingsbury Water Park, Bodymoor Heath, Warwickshire, B76 0DY and see for yourself whether Harvey can make his way to the top step of the podium.

Seconds out, Round Two…

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.

CarrMill_20160522_44123.jpg

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.

CarrMill_20160522_44247.jpg

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.

Bryan

Last year we witnessed some superb racing. This year we welcome some new faces and with one week to go are looking forward to getting our season off to a great start!

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