Britain’s Drew Langdon became the first winner of a powerboat race in Hong Kong today.
The Asia Powerboat Race saw 11 competitors competing in anger over 2 heats on the waters of the Shing Mun River in an inaugural event organised by Martin Lai’s Asia Powerboat Association.
Langdon not only won the 2 heats staged this afternoon, he beat off jet lag, tiredness and made light of his advancing years (experience) in a show of speed and steely determination.
Although spectators are more familiar watching Langdon racing big offshore boats, his circuit racing career is less well documented – Although he proved in Asia today that he has a high proficiency in both disciplines.
UIM Endurance Class S1 2017 & 2018 World & European Champion, Francis Notschaele from Belgium was never far behind Langdon in either of the races and took a couple of second places to the Brit.
Leifur Dam Leifsson is the only man from the tiny Nordic island country of Iceland currently racing a powerboat – today he put on a ‘volcanic’ display, gaining third overall.
Sarah Donohue made her return to racing this weekend in Hong Kong after a long sabbatical and she told me after the race:
I’m pretty pleased with 7th overall.
I used to race Offshore, to come back and race around a circuit is pretty challenging!
The ever pragmatic Donohue slightly underplayed her performance, her racing was controlled and impressive in an all new environment and it can’t be understated that the sport needs characters like her if it is to flourish in the future.
Campbell Jenkins who has wooed the Chinese with his good looks and colourful dress sense, finished just behind the ‘Plucky Brit’, he enjoyed his day and the Aussie based in Singapore told me:
I think I did okay considering my steering wheel departed from its fixing before the start of the first race!
Belgium’s Alain Copens had a miserable day after a flat battery put him out of contention for the second race and he had to settle for 11th overall while young British racer Charlotte Camsey finished just in front of him.
I spent time with Matt Palfreyman at the race BBQ last night, he kindly gave me plenty of tips, I can only learn and get better.
The winning competitors celebrated on the podium at the Ma On Shan Promenade after the 2 races with a presentation that was filled with Chinese excitement, hospitality and anticipation of embracing a new sport.
There will be more racing tomorrow from 12:00 (GMT +8)
Photos: Lowell Mason