After their successful inaugural race last November in Hong Kong, the Asia Powerboat Association (APA) have announced the 13 drivers that will be making the trip to Macau to compete in their next event over the weekend of May 2-5.
Drew Langdon will be in the former Portuguese colony and starts as favourite, having won the Asia Powerboat Championship in Hong Kong.
The experienced Langdon, who divides his powerboat racing between circuit and offshore, has already been practicing in the West Country of England this year.
The first female Endurance World Champion in Circuit Class 2, Mette Bjerknaes, (above) will be swapping her UIM F2 Mercury powered Moore hull for one of the 12 John Guille designed mono hulls that will be campaigned alongside the Fisherman’s Wharf complex, and she told me:
I’m super excited to be racing in Macau – I’m particularly looking forward to seeing the sun again as it’s been a long winter in Norway!
Bjerknaes is not the only lady driver, Sarah Donohue (below) will be flying in from Spain where she now resides:
I started to find some speed in Hong Kong, but I’ve seen Mette racing in F2 in their videos – She is ~!*@$ quick!
Someone who has always liked the ladies, Miles Jennings, will be making his debut in the series – Although this will be his 40th consecutive year of powerboat racing.
The ever enthusiastic Jennings who comes across as being light hearted and jovial, has a steely determination to win and it will be fascinating to see him race against his offshore team-mate, Langdon.
It wouldn’t be an international powerboat race without an Italian competitor, and Maurizio Carando is that man.
Carando, like Langdon and Jennings, has experience in both circuit and offshore.
Erko Aabrhams from Estonia will take his hydroplane experience with him to the far east, with Australia’s Campbell Jenkins set to wow the Chinese spectators again on and off the water.
Jenkins raced in Hong Kong and will going to Macau from Singapore, where he now lives.
Britain is extremely well supported, Dave Sheldon (above) who competes in the UKOPRA offshore series, has also had experience in UIM P750 racing:
I do some business in that region and have secured a sponsor for the event – But be sure that my company, Multispark will have their stickers everywhere!
2016 UIM Class 3A World Champion Barry Culver nearly wasn’t as he missed his flight before the event in Norway:
I got to Tvedestrand by the skin of my teeth – I wont be making that mistake again!
I’m flying to Qatar, that’s near Macau isn’t it?
Glyn Norvell, another UKOPRA series competitor is on the plane, former Powerboat P1 racer Andy Wilby will be joining him and former UIM Class 3C European champion, Ricky Hill from Wales will make a welcome return to racing.
For the local fans that are expected to pack in to the Fisherman’s Wharf complex, they will have Hong Kong’s Siu Chun Kit to cheer.
Powerboat Racing World will be covering the event from Macau with photography by Lowell Mason.