British Powerboat Racers this weekend (2/3 July) head to Kingsbury Water Park in Warwickshire for the third Grand Prix of the 2016 season. 40 of Britain’s top Powerboat racers from all over the United Kingdom are set to kick it up a gear for rounds five and six of the RYA Powerboat GP British Championship.
Following an exhilarating competition at the Lancashire Grand Prix at the end of May, competitors have enjoyed a 4 week break allowing them vital testing time as we head into the half way point in the season.
Five of the six championship fleets will be back inaction this weekend and with only a couple of championship places separating the top boats there’s everything still to play for and this will lead to a very highly contested weekend of racing at Kingsbury.
In the GT30 class it will be Staffordshire’s Tiegen Goodfellow who will be hoping to use home water to her full advantage as she looks to catch championship leader Ben Jelf and keep the rest of the fleet in her wake. The young powerboat racer has really come into form this season and is certainly giving the boys a run for their money now in her 6th season of racing she will use every twist and turn of her home course at Kingsbury to aim for that gold podium spot.
Also looking for home water advantage will be Tamworth youngster Harvey Smith who currently sits in a viable third place in the GT15 championship with very little separating the top junior racers. Championship leader Thomas Mantripp and second place Jonathan Brewer will go head to head in the battle for the championship lead with 1 point between them but Harvey will have spent his time perfecting his lines through the island straight on the course and will use his knowledge of the course and conditions to his favour.
Following a spectacular barrel roll at Kingsbury during the 2015 championship OSY400 championship leader Luke Hugman will be looking for a better outcome this weekend but the rest of the plucky hydroplane racers will not give with an inch as they pile on the pressure. 2015 saw seasoned racer Jason Mantripp take his first ever national win and he’ll be looking for more of the same this weekend.
The Lancashire Grand Prix saw a hotly contested opening round in the T850 campaign and as the weekend progressed the competition got even tighter promising even more edge of your seat action for the Kingsbury Grand Prix. Lancashire duo Steve Cash and Bill Owen will look favourites for the Kingsbury crown but Nigel Edwards will be looking to improve on recent form and launch a championship campaign attack in the monohull class.
The final class to line up this weekend will be the F4 Catamarans the start of the season saw Sam Whittle take a strong lead in the campaign and following the Lowestoft Grand Prix looked unstoppable. However Upminster’s Rob Veares launched a strong title attack taking pole position and two heat wins to seriously narrow the gap on the championship leader.
Kingsbury Water Park creates interesting conditions for the competitors in every class making it a firm favourite venue for many competitors with the small island in the middle of the lake making interesting conditions adding the unknown to the racing as you never know what the winds doing on the opposite side of the island until you round it.
Explained Powerboat GP promoter Jason Brewer.
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.