Rounds 1 & 2 of the 2018 Guernsey Powerboat Associations race series gets under way this weekend with 9 teams entered.
A new course is set to ensure the navigators are kept on their toes and conditions forecast so far are looking to make it an interesting race.
Chris Bates of A-22 ‘Blue Moon’ is paired with stand in and recently trained navigator Rob De La Haye in a newly formed rig – a Phantom 18 with a 115hp engine. Chris and Jon Le Page have worked tirelessly over the winter after an extravagant barrel roll last season and various mechanical gremlins helped them in the decision to change hull altogether and start afresh.
Gareth Keast has paired up with Sue Cosgrave for this event in a VS22 fitted with a 115hp which has been loaned to them by fellow racer John Richardson after Gareth and Quentin Petit had an off in testing which resulted in the boat rolling over. This duo haven’t raced together for a couple of years but they are both looking forward to jumping in the loan boat and having an exciting race with the other teams.
Bill Gladstone in B-121 ‘Me Too!’ also has a new navigator, Matt Keast is making a return to the sport in the Phantom 21 with a Mercury 150 Pro XS. This team will undoubtedly enjoy the long legs this new course has on offer and are keen to show a competitive side.
Brothers Patrick and Philip Dewe will once again compete in their Phantom 19 hull ‘Dewpacabra’ which is also powered by a Mercury 150 Pro XS. This pair will be heard this year after making slight adjustments and swapping to an offshore leg to get the best sound out of the Mercury.
Richard Le Feuvre is making a comeback in his Phantom 20 ‘Paranoid’ with Tony Gibbs stepping in to Navigate for him. Tony has never raced before, he has recently completed his training so this will be his debut race. Richard has spent a lot of time getting the boat ready with help from other race teams and he’s hoping the Mercury will be on song this weekend.
The noisy yellow catamaran ‘Jubbly’ will be competing with Driver Hugh Donnelly and Navigator Matt Kershaw in the hot seats. This arrangement is undoubtedly one of the best boats to watch with not only the noise but the skill shown by Hugh in controlling the boat in all conditions. This team will get a great run on the long legs of this course.
Local 200hp racers are ready for a great battle since receiving two entries from Jersey. Scott Walker and Andrew Marshman will both travel across the pond to compete in this Event.
Andrew Marshman in the Phantom ‘Warpath’ has raced in Guernsey for the last two seasons and showed last year with the new hull that he is a real contender for the chequered flag. This event he will be teaming up with Guernsey Girl Nicole Petit who recently completed her Navigator training.
Scott Walker is also teaming up with a local Navigator – Chris Le Vallee. Chris usually commentates but has decided to give racing a go. Scott has spent many long days and late nights ensuring the Phantom 20 named ‘Grolsch’ is ready to race and in the nick of time has it finished.
The final boat competing this weekend is ‘Flash Back’ the other Guernsey Catamaran crewed by Father and Son team Steve Roussel and Ryan Woodhouse. This team have made many changes to the rig after blowing a Power head to smithereens in their last race. Now all is fixed they are hoping for the best on this long course which should allow them to stretch their legs.
Race times are Saturday – 15.15 and Sunday – 16.00. Viewing areas are – Castle Breakwater and the Cows Horn. Presentation will be held at the castle emplacement straight after Sundays race in the Pit Area.
Photo: Guernsey Sport Photography