//2016 Trans Atlantic ThunderCat Race – massive surf and roughest racing ever

2016 Trans Atlantic ThunderCat Race – massive surf and roughest racing ever

The final day of the Trans Atlantic certainly gave not only all the competitors, but the thousands of spectators who turned up to watch the racing, the most exciting yet this year in South Africa.

With the high winds and extremely rough sea conditions the Trans Atlantic this year gave photographers and film cameraman the most incredible pictures and footage.

With many bruised and aching bodies and some very tired muscles, the 45 teams gave it their all on Sunday, 3rd and final day, with all 4 classes, 11 boats in Novice, 16 boats in Stock, 6 boats in Pro-Stock and 11 boats in Modified, providing some really nail biting racing with positons changing constantly and lots of dicing.

Once again old time Pro-Stock class thundercat racer Marc Gleed with his much younger co-pilot Christiaan Beyers of Team Brent Oil, had the pace in the big swell and the rough, and just flew round the course in a sizzling fashion with an overall time of 2h47min to take overall 1st place.

An amazing chase was given by the Stock class boat of SA Champion Team Valumax of Peter Groenenstein and his seasoned co-pilot Nichol Parr to take overall 2nd position and first in Stock class in time of 2hr53min.

An nail biting finish was had betweem the 3rd and 4th teams overall of Stock class boats of Team EXT of Christian Kriel and Waldo Rudi finishing 3rd in 3 hr 6sec just ahead of 4th overall team of Gordon Meyer and Rohan Swanepoel of Team Liquorland in 3 hr 38sec.

Finishing on their heels in 2nd position in Pro Stock class just behind two 3 leading Stock boats were Hilton and Nathan Otto of Team PH Plant Hire 3hr 1 min just  and 3rd in Pro Stock going to veteran racer Des Potgieter and Raun van Tonder of Team Clemen Gold 3 hr 4min.

The legend of thundercat racing around the world Barry Marx and Francois Fraser of Team Century Electrical came in 1st in Modifieds and 6th overall in 3hr 2 min well ahead of the other modified boats with 2nd going to Johan Reinke and Frans Grotepass of Team Crystal Cool Logistics and 3rd was Christo Bezuidenhout and Steven Steyn of Team ThunderCat.

As you can see the severe water conditions meant speed was not a priority and the Stock boats certainly proved it is not all about the fastest boat in rough water.

The novice class as always was very closely contested with Ryno Verster and Tanel Aroega of Team Artificial Grass winning the class in 3 hr 17 min from J Kloosterziel and JP de Witt of Team Aquarius and in 3rd place was Human and Gerbrand Willemse.

The Trans Atlantic is one of the most extreme events on the national calendar and after the Trans Agulhas must be the event for die hard thundercat racers to compete in.

The next event on the South African calendar is on 14/15 May at Club Mykonos which is a terrific venue for racing and will be on same weekend as the Fistral Beach event in big surf in Cornwall in the UK so loads of action to be had between SA and UK.

Grant Harrison
Grant is from South Africa and moved to England over 10 years ago.
He is well known in offshore powerboat racing circles due to over 20 years international competition in the sport.