The Cambridge English dictionary defines ‘a walk in the park’ as something that is very easy to do and usually rather pleasant.
This weekend the park in question has been the Nicholas Everitt one on the banks of the Oulton Broad and the person taking that pleasant stroll has been Rasmus Haugasmagi on his way to securing the 2018 OSY400 European Champions title.
I quickly worked out that this race course deserves a great deal of respect that meant me re-thinking how you race it.
So, we set up the Powat hull for maximum acceleration out of the turns.
If you watched the way he approaches each of the two pins you could clearly see that he had backed off almost fifty metres before hitting the mark.
That way I then have plenty of time to count the waves in front of me and then judge my line around the turn buoy and then accelerate away.
It might look easy, but I prefer to call it safe.
In fact, this weekend has been incident free and the only time the rescue teams were called into action was tow-stricken craft back to the jetty.
With the Championship title all wrapped up after three heats, all that was left to be fought over were the remaining two steps on the podium. Could Britain’s Wayne Moyse snatch second place away from Cezary Strumnik?
Well they don’t call me ‘Mr Second-Place’ for no reason.
I was so surprised just how hard it is to drive this course, it’s completely different to anywhere else I have raced.
I knew the local drivers were all really motivated to beat the overseas racers, so they probably had me in their sights rather than Haugasmagi, but I managed to keep ahead of that hard charging pack.
As the racers lined up for the fourth and final heat both Haugasmagi and Strumnik, who had secured enough points to remain untouchable sat this one out.
That meant Jamie Marr would line up for his first ever pole in an international race. The reigning RYA British OSY400 Champion was certainly feeling the pressure because right alongside him would be Wayne Moyse.
As the pair entered the water they were tied in third place, both on 489 points, the winner would secure that final podium position.
Marr made the perfect start whilst Moyse suddenly found himself back in fourth place and knew he had his work cut out if he was to catch the British Champion.
With just six laps to decide that final podium place time soon ran out and Marr would claim that Bronze medal for Britain.
It was all about that first lap, once that was out of the way I just had to concentrate really hard on not hooking it in the rough turns.
I didn’t realise that Moyse was so far back, it wouldn’t have made the task any easier had I known anyway.
Overnight the team had dropped the engine height and changed propeller.
The delighted Marr said:
Yesterday, I thought the engine was running too hot in the rough, so we took a gamble on lowering it and it paid off.
For Moyse though the change in condition certainly hadn’t suited his racing style.
Today the water was completely different, and I just went backwards.
After the third heat I knew Marr had the speed, which made the job even harder.
When you own a hull like this one everyone else expects you to deliver good results, what they tend to forget is that I’ve only been back racing for just over a year and I still have a lot of catching up to do.
With the spray from the propellers being replaced by that from the champagne bottles, those racers gathered around the podium all agreed that the OSY400 European Championships had been a huge success and many applauded the Lowestoft & Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club for setting such a high standard of organisation and hoped that they wouldn’t have to wait another eleven years before they returned to the park.
OSY400 Hydroplane European Championship Final Results
1. Rasmus Haugasmagi Estonia 1200 points.
2. Cezary Strumnik Poland 900 points.
3. Jamie Marr UK 794 points.
4. Gintaras Marcinkus Lithuania 652 points.
5. Wayne Moyse UK 563 points.
6. Oliver Nilsson Sweden 521 points.
7. Jason Mantripp UK 275 points.
8. Miroslav Basinsky Slovakia 269 points.
9. Daniel Drake UK 201 points.
10. Grzegorz Stepniak Poland 182 points.
11. Tony Knights UK 97 points.
12. Brian Shulvar UK 82 points.
13. Sean Woods UK 66 points.