The Lanka Powerboat Association (LPA) completed a three-day ThunderCat training course for youngsters at the Diyawanna Lake last week.
The training course, was aimed at imparting the know-how of powerboating to Sri Lankan youngsters between the ages of 9 and 16.
Manik Gunawardana of the LPA explained;
We have selected children from schools around Colombo for this exciting, comprehensive training programme. We are hoping to extend this opportunity to more children throughout the country in due course.
We have been successful in inviting a Junior Powerboat champion, Oban Duncan to promote this event in Sri Lanka. Oban is the youngest champion at her level and she participated in the UIM Propstars training programme here.
10-year-old Oban Duncan from Scotland who was nominated for the 2015 Dumbartonshire Sports Personality of the Year and for the 2015 RYA Scotland Junior Sports Personality of the Year, assisted the training sessions;
It was great learning about speed but control was our number one aim. I am looking forward to seeing my new friends in Sri Lanka again.
The first two days were both theoretical and practical training sessions, the final day was for practical activities and concluded with an exhibition race by the trainers with four VIPs joining as co-pliots.
There are 3 modules basic, advanced and competition. Not all students were awarded the completion module although they have been invited back for further training.
Basic Module: The Basic module for Powerboat Training offers an ideal introduction to those new to the sport, instruction covers general boating, seamanship, environmental and water awareness skills. The instruction provided at this level will lay the foundation stones of knowledge which will prove to be invaluable as you progress through to the Advanced and Competition levels of this programme. Classroom based and on water practical instruction will be provided at each level.
Advanced Module: The Advanced course is designed to provide an introduction into powerboat racing and to teach candidates how to get started in the sport and safely compete at club and national levels.
Competition Module: As the name suggests this course is designed to familiarise the applicant with the skills necessary to compete in powerboat racing at both National and International levels. A strong emphasis will be placed on racing water awareness skills and safety and considerable time will be spent out on the water in simulated racing conditions. In addition to the on water training the theory sessions will consider the racing rules and trainees will be taught the importance of complying with the rules of the sport and working with race officials.
The LPA awarded Oban Duncan with the title of Honorary Propstar Ambassador at an award ceremony held after the event. She taught a training session made up by herself to fit in with the programme, as well as some other activities throughout the 3 days.
The LPA represents Sri Lanka at the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), as it aims to promote the sport and enable the island’s community and tourists alike to develop skills enabling them to drive a range of powerboats in addition to helping them take part in local and international races.
The children followed a comprehensive syllabus consisting of classroom and on water training including a segment environmental awareness. At the end of the course the LPA set an examination and the successful candidates received accreditation and was recognised as LPA Junior Propstars.
John raced Offshore UIM Class 3 in the 1980’s & 1990’s.
He served as the Cowes Torquay Cowes Event Director for 4 years, including running the 50 th Anniversary Event in 2010.
He has recently organised 4 British Offshore races under UKOPRA sanction.
He is the Editor of Powerboat Racing World.