Having not lost any of the last 28 heats that he’s raced in it would take something special to deny the reigning World and European OSY400 Champion Rasmus Haugasmagi that twenty ninth one.
After the mid-day qualifying session, it looked like the Polish racer, Cezary Strumnik might just had found the set up to do just that when he put his extremely quick Mosquito hull on pole position:
We tried four different props, obviously the one we secured our best lap on gave us the top speed we needed but we’re not sure about acceleration.
Haugasmagi meanwhile was busy looking at the average lap times that both he and Strumnik had set throughout the session and felt confident enough to settle for the second fastest time.
Sweden’s Oliver Nilsson would line up alongside the Champion, whilst the fastest British racer would be Jamie Marr in fifth place. Jason Mantripp had a torrid time after his gearcase failed and he needed towing back in.
Having not set a lap-time of any significance he would start from last place on the grid.
With just an hour between the end of qualifying and the start of the first heat, Mantripp and his team knew they had their work cut out but as the minutes tick by he finally appeared on the jetty ready for the six-lap heat to get under way.
As the thirteen racers left the start line in a cloud of spray it was Haugasmagi who appeared first through the haze, closely followed by Strumnik.
Up to third place from seventh had flown Britain’s Wayne Moyse but he soon had Nilsson tracking his every move.
Out in front by some distance now was Haugasmagi who had total control of the heat. He was clearly backing off well before the turns such was his confidence in the Powat hulls acceleration.
As he took the chequered flag he had almost a ten second gap over second placed Strumnik, who had struggled with an engine down on power.
Second again and I’m missing 200 rpm.
We will work tonight to try and find it, I have raced this class for ten years now, so I think I have a good idea on where to look.
If we can find it, then it should be enough to keep hold of second place.
In the battle for third place Moyse had mirrored the England v Sweden World Cup result much to the delight of the spectators lining the banks.
Beating Nilsson to the third-place spot is a big deal for me.
I will sleep well tonight.
As Haugasmagi strolled back into pits with a relaxed look about him he knew that had secured a third of the points he needed to retain his title.
As soon as it got bouncy out there I knew that everyone would settle for their places.
It feels good right now but there still a long way to go tomorrow.
Moyse won’t be the only racer having no problems getting to sleep tonight.
Free Practice for the OSY400 racers gets under way on Sunday at 12:00 noon (local time).
Then the remaining three heats start at 14:20, 15:40 and 16:45.
All being well, the Podium Presentation gets under way at the bandstand at 17:45.
Chris Davies ARPS, has been photographing and writing about powerboat racing since 1987.