The highly anticipated start to the 2017 Stanley Gibbons Race Series in Guernsey was cruelly undermined by the weather.
11 keen teams arrived at an early GPA race briefing last Saturday, only to be informed by Officials that due to decreasing visibility and 27 knot winds, their ‘season opener’ would have to wait until tomorrow.
With a potential weather window on Sunday morning, the Guernsey racers made their way to the muster area only to see a huge thunderstorm and lightning strikes hitting Sark Island a few miles away.
With a Green Flag signaling the start of the season, Hugh Donnelly and Matt Kershaw pushed their veteran Argo Cat (above) into the lead, closely followed by Patrick and Phil Dewe in Dewpacabra.
Behind the leaders, 2 Phantom 19G hulls were dicing for the first time, Slayer Racing, driven by Paul Etasse the 2016 UIM 3A Silver Medalist and Easy Emily being ‘dialed in’ by former UIM 3B World Champion John Richardson.
As the teams turned towards the Lower Heads mark on lap 1, the weather moved into Guernsey waters, delivering heavy rain, fog, a thunderstorm and little visibility.
A Red Flag was duly dropped to end the proceedings.
Paul Etasse said afterwards;
It was very bad out there, driving at 60 mph in little to no visibility is tough.
In the fog, John Richardson was stealthily summing up Etasse in preparation for the forthcoming 2017 UIM 3A World Championship to be held later this year over 3 similar courses in Guernsey.
No points were awarded, the teams look forward to better weather for the ‘North Beach Outer Course’ on June 17th -18th.
Photos: Martin Gray / guernseysportphotography.com