This weekend (6/7 August) The Jelf Racing Team head to their home club for the 2016 Powerboat GP RYA British Sprint Championships looking to secure 4 of the 6 Championship titles up for grabs.
The Sprint Championships are a stand alone competition separate from the Powerboat GP British Championship in which each class battles it out for pole position and then over 3 heats and by the end of the weekend 6 individuals will be crowned Powerboat GP British RYA Sprint Champion.
With the Jelf Racing team competing in 4 of the 6 classes that will be competing hopes and expectations will be high. 2015 saw Colin Jelf secure the F2 British Sprint title and Ben Jelf secure the GT30 Sprint title and both will be looking to retain their titles despite some very tough competition.
Junior Jelf racers Jonathan Brewer and George Elmore finished in 2nd and 3rd respectively in last year’s competition and this year will both looking to go one better. Thomas Mantripp will put up a strong fight to stop the Jelf duo but with a competition so tight that the smallest of mistakes can cost you the title George and Jonathan will both be completely focussed and looking to prove themselves on the water.
Ben Jelf will be competing in the GT30 class looking to defend his title and take his 12th consecutive British Title as he goes head to head with a strong fleet of racers. Tough competition will come in the form of Jack Pickles and Tiegen Goodfellow and Ben will need to keep his wits about him if he’s to secure his next title.
Ben will also be searching for his first British title in the F4 Catamaran class having really got to grips with his new Baba boat at Chasewater Ben will now be looking to chase down front runner Sam Whittle there was very little separating the F4 fleet in the last round of competition so there’s everything to play for.
The biggest challenge of the weekend will be for F2 driver Colin Jelf who will be looking to retain his 2015 Sprint title but will also be vying for vital British Championship points as this round also counts to the F2 British Championship campaign. Having lost vital points through engine problems at Chasewater Colin will be looking to come back fighting. Championship leader Paul Balfour will be confident after a clean sweep at Chasewater but the former 3 times World Champion will be looking to stop in his tracks and make a strong return to the top flight.
Ahead of the weekend’s action Team Manager Colin Jelf had this to say about the task in front of the team;
We’ve got another busy weekend ahead of us and it’s going to be hard work. But we’re in a strong position and have a good chance to walk away with any of the 4 crowns we’re competing for this weekend. Once again the team’s put in a lot of effort and hopefully our hard work can pay off and we can reward the hard work and our sponsors with some more silverware.
The team will back in action on water as qualifying gets underway from 10.30 on Saturday 6th August and then with each class competing over three heats to find the 2016 Powerboat GP British RYA Sprint Champions.
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.