Last weekend saw 40 British Powerboat Racers head to Kingsbury Water Park for the 3rd round of the 2016 Powerboat GP RYA British Championship. Amongst the competitors was Burntwood’s Tiegen Goodfellow who sensationally battled her way to her first National Championship win on home water!
In the Junior GT15 class the battle raged on as reigning champion Thomas Mantripp and championship hopefuls Jonathan Brewer and Harvey Smith went head to head for the Kingsbury Grand Prix title. There was less than a second separating the three in the qualifying session but it was Thomas Mantripp that stole pole and with it the first championship point of the weekend.
The plucky youngster doesn’t like to give his lead up without a fight and led the way throughout the weekend to secure three clean wins and secure his second Grand Prix win of the season and remain at the top of the championship leader board. Meanwhile Jelf Racing’s George Elmore pushing hard to make it back on the podium this weekend got caught by a gust of wind in Heat 1 and barrel rolled his GT15 out of the race sending him for an early bath. Team-mate Jono Brewer took two second places and a third to secure the youngster the silver medal with Harvey Smith securing himself the Bronze medal at his home Grand Prix.
In the GT30 Championship local girl Tiegen Goodfellow launched a championship attack on leader Ben Jelf. Ben secured pole position and the first heat win of the weekend but after a disqualification for Jelf in the second heat the young lady from Burntwood had only to keep her head throughout the final heat to secure herself her first National Grand Prix win.
Not set on just coasting through the final heat Tiegen went for the jugular and was determined from her pole position to keep Ben Jelf and Thomas Mantripp in her wake to claim the chequered flag. She got off to a flying start, Jelf was bearing down on her every inch of the course but focussed and with a cool head Goodfellow kept her eyes on the prize and in front cheers of joy from a home crowd and a chequered flag waved by her grandfather she won her first race of the season and her first ever National Grand Prix win. Thomas Mantripp took the silver medal podium spot with Ben Jelf completing the podium in bronze.
The T850 battle reached boiling point with Lancashire’s Bill Owen looking for the Championship lead from team mate Steve Cash. Returning to winning ways Bill Owen quickly set about business securing pole position and a fastest lap time 2 seconds faster than rival Nigel Edwards.
From pole position Bill Owen controlled all three heats of the race putting in a flawless performance to secure three straight heat wins. Meanwhile Steve Cash, Nigel Edwards and Jason Brewer battled fiercely for the silver and bronze medals with little separating them throughout the heats. Following in his son’s footsteps and making it another silver Kingsbury Grand Prix podium spot for the family was Jason Brewer with Steve Cash taking the final podium spot as he claimed the bronze medal.
The final class of the weekend was the F4 Catamarans and as the fleet lined up for qualification all eyes were on young Ben Jelf in his new Baba hull to see the possibilities this new boat had for the youngster. Bolstering the fleet was also a welcome appearance from Colin Jelf as on a rare weekend off from competing in his F2 he decided to put the teams other F4 through its paces.
Once more it was Hayling Island’s Sam Whittle that set pole position being the only competitor to go under 52 seconds in his lap times. Rob Veares secured second with Ben Jelf in third and Colin in 4th but with less than a 5th of a second separating them things were about to getting very interesting as they headed in to the heats.
Back on pole position Sam Whittle used the shortest line to first turn to his full advantage ensuring he got the best start and clean water despite immense pressure from championship contender Veares, Whittle kept his cool and took another three clean sweeps in the heats to secure himself the Kingsbury Crown.
In heat two the pressure was on as the rest of the fleet battled hard behind championship leader Sam Whittle and disaster struck for Matt Wood as pushing hard against Ben Jelf Wood got caught by a gust of wind and back flipped out of the race. The pressure was then on for the racer to get his engine dried out and back up and running to see if he could make the final heat of the day. Rob Veares secured the Kingsbury Grand Prix silver medal position just fighting off Ben Jelf into the bronze medal.
Powerboat GP Promoter Jason Brewer had this to say about the weekend’s event.
We’ve had another fantastic weekend’s racing. We’re now at that critical stage in the championship as we’ve reached the half way point and everybody’s really upping the pressure as the battle to win the 2016 Powerboat GP RYA British Championship’s rages on.
It’s especially nice to have a new face at the top of the podium. Tiegen’s been working very hard over the years to secure that win and to see her hard work and dedication finally pay-off is really great especially in front of her family and a home crowd as that’s what our sports all about.
Celebrations for the Powerboat GP Kingsbury Grand Prix winners will be short lived as with just two weeks until the championship campaign heads to Cannock for the Chasewater Grand Prix on the 16/17 July.
Teams will now turn their focus to the penultimate round of competition for most of the classes.
Nikki is the Sponsorship and PR Manager for the Jelf Racing Powerboat Team.
She was a Powerboat Racing Senior Administrator at the Royal Yachting Association for 6 years.
Nikki reports on the Jelf Racing Team and international F4 racing.