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Sprint championship

Focus On… RYA Powerboat GP Sprint Championship

Every race weekend, before anyone can go on the water, the drivers attend a briefing meeting on both race days. 

In this meeting roll calls are taken for each class, the drivers are talked through the course for the event, and any other business is addressed to ensure that everyone understands the rules under which they are racing. Officials are named so that all participants understand who they need to see under certain eventualities. Drivers are also randomly chosen to be breath-tested to ensure that nobody is driving under the influence of alcohol.

The timetable for the event is also covered, which this weekend has had to be adapted because of the forecast of strong winds for tomorrow. This means that all being well, each class will run 2 heats today, leaving the risk of disruption for tomorrow to a minimum. 

We’re minutes away from starting qualifying now, and with a new course to learn and busy schedule for the day it promises to be an exciting day.



A Change In Focus…

One event. Two days. Three heats. The outcome? The crowning of the 2016 Powerboat GP Sprint Champions. On Saturday morning, the boats from as many as five classes will take to the water to determine their grid positions for Heat 1.


The Sprint Championship weekend is always a great one. This will be my sixth one, and every year it is one of my highlights. There is something different about the atmosphere at the Sprints. It is an event with a long history that commemorates drivers we have lost over the years, and that fact sticks with everyone throughout the weekend, but in a positive way. The good times are remembered and more are had, and there is often very much a party feel, with the social aspect of racing being high on the agenda.


That said, the Sprints are also an opportunity for those who’s National Championship hopes may be dwindling to make their mark. At Sunday afternoon’s prize giving, the Sprint Champions will be crowned for each of the competing classes. This event stands completely separate from the National Championship, meaning that right from Saturday morning, each and every driver will be setting out with one target in sight, and with all eyes on the prize, the racing promises to be close and hard, as we have already seen this year.


This weekend, there won’t be a “Focus On” following particular teams or drivers. In stead, the focus will be on the event itself. There are so many drivers showing potential this year, and as we have already seen, in powerboat racing anything can happen. So watch this space this weekend, because when people start making waves at the Sprint Championship, the Powerboat GP blog will be all over it.


British Sprint Championship

Just 1 week to go until the Powerboat GP, British sprint championship meeting at Stewartby Lake,near Bedford.

This is an opportunity for drivers who have had problems in the British championship rounds so far to win some silverware as this is a stand alone meeting ,not part of the main Championship.

I thought this would be a chance to look through some of the classes to see who I think may be challenging .

GT 15 Class first,the drivers to watch are usually Thomas Mantripp,Jonathon Brewer and Harvey Smith,But George Elmore is due a podium finish and this is the perfect time.Ethan Goodfellow, who like a lot of drivers comes from a racing family,is gaining experience and speed with every meeting and who knows with a bit of luck he could be up there.931 - Copy

Now GT30 Class,The obvious choice would be Ben Jelf but in any race anything can happen. Tiegen Goodfellow has had a brilliant season so far and will be a challenger for a much deserved win.Jack Pickles had a good meeting at Chasewater and should be in the mix with Thomas Mantripp and Jamie Norris if he is entered.Tony Judge would be a popular winner but so far this year he seems to be struggling a bit for speed ,but as I say you never know.

Formula 4 next,I just think there may be a surprise here,Sam Whittle has been at the front for most of the season but Ben Jelf is getting to know his new Baba Hull and this just may be his weekend.Rob Veares and Matt Wood will be pushing hard as always so there should be some close racing here.

Formula 2 ,With Matt Palfreyman not having a boat due to damage sustained in the World championship rounds the hard charging Lancashire driver will not be in contention.However this does not mean there will not be some exciting racing , this 120 mph class is always a spectacle to watch. Ex British Champion Paul Balfour and multi World Champion Colin Jelf  have been at the front of the pack this season but last years British Champion Steve Hoult will be  all out to take this prize.Mark Williams had a good meeting at Chasewater and Chris Loney has been a consistent finisher so far.If Scott Curtis has entered he will be as usual driving right up to the limit.245

These prediction will probably prove to be totally wrong ,but thats the thrill of powerboat racing you never know until the final chequred flag.

Bob H.


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