This weekend will see the opening rounds of the Guernsey 2016 Stanley Gibbons Investment Powerboat race series.
With 7mph winds forecasted for the Saturday race, some top speeds are sure to be recorded as the local racers flex their muscles over the exciting Havelet Bay course which will be organised by the Guernsey Powerboat Association (GPA).
Last year’s club class 3 winners, Gareth Keast and Sue Cosgrave have parted company this term, in a friendly way I might add and will be competing against each other.
Gareth has teamed up with his brother Matt having ditched their successful Backdraft for Olly Duquemin’s super fast Phantom 19, renamed The Guvernor, whilst Sue, who will continue to navigate, teams up with a newcomer to the sport, Mark Terry, in a newly purchased Backdraft, ‘Dirty Deeds’.
There will be no missing this boat which sports the fluorescent yellow livery sin-ominous with the American Superboat, Miss Geico. Providing competition in Class 3 will be the all black Slayer 2, a brand new Phantom GR 19.
Having taken a break in 2015, Paul Etasse and Chris Stonebridge will be eager to get their preparations for this year’s World Championships in Norway underway. If past performances are anything to go by, this will be the team to beat this year.
In class 2 which has become the grass roots class within the club, experienced racer Richard Le Feuvre again will be competing in his Phantom 20, Paranoid. Look out for this boat which seems to have a likening for being out of the water as much as being in it.
Also in this class will be newcomers to the sport, Jai Rive and his partner Kirsty Savident who will share the driving in the former Phantom 21, Magnum Force, now renamed, ‘Grey Sea’. Kirsty who works for the sponsors, Stanley Gibbons Investment will be backed by her employers for her inaugural racing season.
Making up the numbers in Class 2 will be two raceboats from Jersey, the crews of whom recently took part in the Club’s training weekend.
This year the local club boast three V24 v8 powered bat boats in their ranks, but on this outing, only ‘It wasn’t us’ raced again by Martyn Robert and Tim Abbott will be making all the noise around Havelet Bay as Diablo Racing and the newly acquired Top Shed Racing V8 are still undergoing mechanical repairs.
Z150 class is born this year with three boats sporting the new 150hp motors.
Class favourite Paddy Dewe from Sark will undoubtedly be the favourite this year with his Phantom 19, whilst Bill Gladstone has swapped the driver seat with his partner Holly Woodhouse in their Phantom 21 ‘Me Too’ and will be eager to prove himself behind the wheel.
Making up the trio in this class is the newly purchased Phantom 19 ‘Money Monster’ of Katie Sauvarin who will be hoping that her new toy will behave as well as last year’s Ring 20.
Guernsey 2016 Stanley Gibbons Investment Powerboat race series
Round 1 and – 2 28th and 29th May
Saturday’s race starts at 11.15am whilst Sunday’s race starts an hour later at 12.15pm.
As usual with this course, the excitement conjured up by Havelet Bay’s tight turns are best viewed from the Castle walk and La Vallette.