Guernsey Powerboat Association Stanley Gibbons Investment 2016 race series
Event 2 – Races 3 & 4
With a stiff westerly force 4 blowing in the Little Russel, the all black ‘Slayer’ driven by Paul Etasse and Chris Stonebridge left the competition in their wake during Saturday’s race 3 as they roared ahead of most of the fleet at the start to put in a faultless display in Club class 3 and win convincingly from The Governor (Gareth & Matt Keast) and Dirty Deeds (Mark Terry/Sue Cosgrave).
Having traveled once again from Jersey, Scott Walker unfortunately retired after nine laps having snapped his saddle which was a shame as he had been holding his own in his 18 foot Phantom in some testing conditions which were getting worse as the race continued.
The Slayer boys were mindful not to damage their new Phantom 19 GR ahead of their departure this Monday for Norway where they will be competing in the World 3a Championships.
Present form suggests that they could well be defending champions when this same World Championships take place in Home waters in 2017, because there is no doubt that this rig is special without doubt.
It had been hoped that all three V24’s would be on display, but only ‘It wasn’t us’ (Martin Roberts/Tim Abbott) and ‘V59’ crossed the start line with It wasn’t Us making all the running to earn maximum points once again.
After burning the midnight oil all week to get V59 ready for their first race, father and son, Mark and Tom Sauvarin only managed three laps before suffering a mechanical problem causing them to retire. They had been running well in second position in what was to be only their second outing in their new boat.
In Z class, Patrick and Philip Dewe from Sark onboard ‘Dewpacabra’ continued where they left off last time out and and set up a huge lead with an assertive performance over Bill Gladstone/Ryan Woodhouse in ‘Me Too’ and Katy Sauvarin/Ashley Harrison in ‘Money Monster’. The choppy conditions in the middle of the course we’re enough to keep Gladstone ahead of Sauvarin throughout.
In Club class 1, only ‘Easy Emily’ driven by Jon Richardson/Chris Bates who were making their first appearance this term, managed to finish with ‘Jubbly’ the bright yellow Argo cat (Hugh Donnelly/ Matt Kershaw) and ‘Wonky Donkey’ (Sean Homer/Dave Le Maitre) both suffering mechanical problems.
In Club class 2, ‘Grey Sea’ (Jai Rive/Kirsty Savident) sponsored by the race series sponsors Stanley Gibbons Investment suffered an impeller problem before the start and failed to leave the harbour whilst the Richard Le Feuvre /Barry Culver ‘Paranoid’ managed two laps before a piston decided to leave the power head with purpose.
On the Sunday morning, conditions were similar to the day before with the added bonus of having two large cruise ships anchored in the Little Russell and tenders running back and forth into St.Peter Port with their 8000 passengers.
This time around both Club class 2 boats completed the race comfortably with Paranoid take class honours. All credit must go to both Le Feuvre and Culver who once again worked all night rebuilding their 200hp motor.
Was this going to be a tale of two ‘V’s as right from the off, having sorted the previous day’s problem, veteran driver Sauvarin in ‘V59’ surged into a surprising lead heading towards North Beach pulling away from ‘It wasn’t us’ before further bad luck curtailed their quest at the hands of a faulty coil.
With Sauvarin’s confidence growing each time he sits behind the wheel of this V8 powered rocket and Diablo Racing’s imminent return, the future’s looking bright for this class and augurs well for the World Championships here in Guernsey next year.
Once again, ‘It wasn’t us’ was able to continue unchallenged and round off a good weekends work to take maximum points.
The newly formed Class 1 for 200hp and upwards, saw three boats make the start line this time and as with the previous day, it was Easy Emily who took first place.
For the majority of the race though, the lead looked as if it would change with the yellow Argocat ‘Jubbly’ chasing down the Phantom ahead. There is something special about the sound that emanates from this catamaran and brings back memories to when it was previously tearing up the courses in the hands of local stalwart Steve Nicolle.
Once new owner Hugh Donnelly gets to grips with his new purchase, he’ll will no doubt raise a few eyebrows.
‘Wonky Donkey’ completed the race taking third place giving Homer and Le Maitre their first ever podium position. This weekend has been a trying one for the pair who have endured loss of power problems with their Mercury outboard whilst overcoming their demons having rolled their B23 Bat boat last time out on this same course.
They drove a sensible race throughout and I’m sure both will be looking forward to the next event.
Z class placings were the same as the previous day with Dewpacabra out on its own leaving Me Too and Money Monster to fight for second place.
The first half of the race looked as if Money Monster would reverse the previous day’s placings, but Gladstone and Woodhouse had other ideas and began closing in as the outward leg began to chop up considerably suiting the 21′ Phantom, allowing them to stretch out a considerable lead by the finish.
With the Slayer crew now having eyes only on Norway next week and not wanting to damage their rig in any way, completed two laps before sitting in the middle of the course and crossing the finish line at the end to take third position.
That left The Governor and Dirty Deeds to fight it out for first place with the former taking the honours to keep the Championship in Club class 3 wide open heading into the next event.
The Guernsey Powerboat Association’s next event with races 5 & 6 have National status and take place on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th July.
Hopefully some of our UK colleagues will make the trip across the Channel and provide a challenge for the local racers.
Results: Race 3
1st Easy Emily
2nd The Governor
3rd Dirty Deeds
1st It Wasn’t Us
2nd Me Too
3rd Money Monster
Check out Martin Gray’s photographs here.