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Powerboat racing returns to Brixham

Brixham hosted Round 3 of the 7-race series organised by the Offshore Circuit Racing Drivers Association (OCRDA) at the weekend when a fleet of 20 of the UK’s fastest race boats came to town.

The OCRDA fleet before the racing begins Photo: Nigel Cole

The F1 and F2 Classes were very well represented, but only single entries for F3 and Formula Sport.

Torquay hosted Round 1 and West Bay Round 2, both in May. The series is due to return to Torquay for Round 5 at the end of August – when the Bay will also host a round of the Class 3A World Championships.

Other rounds are due to be held in Norfolk and Wales.

Brixham has not reverberated to the sound of powerboats since the mid 80’s and judging by the crowds that lined the breakwater at the weekend, it proved to be a very welcome return, and hopefully will become a regular fixture in the OCRDA calendar.

On Saturday, although warm, it was very overcast, and the sea was choppy for both races.

In F1 these conditions favoured the boat of highly experienced South West pairing of Jeremy Gibson / Malachy Browne – Smokey & The Bandit – who went in to the Brixham event as the F1 Class leaders.

Saturday’s races started from the muster point just off Paignton with a rolling start. The boats made an impressive sight with high rooster tails of water behind them as they bounced their way towards Brixham Breakwater in the choppy sea and past the cruise liner Queen Victoria. The course took the boats out to Berry Head, and then back around to travel the length of the Breakwater from where the spectators had an excellent view of the action.

In both races, the Gibson/ Browne pairing had a hard battle with Exeter based, Craig Temple-Murray, in his boat Matahari 4.

Matahari 4 – Craig & Tom Temple-Murray Photo: Nigel Cole

Craig is another highly experienced racer, and for the weekend, renewed his racing partnership with son Tom – they last raced together ten years ago. Craig’s usual navigator, Paul Scott, is still recovering from injuries that he sustained in a freak accident at Round 1 in Torquay. Paul is hoping to return to his seat later this year.

It was an intense, race long battle that eventually saw Gibson/Browne hunt down the Temple-Murray’s to take both race wins. In an unfortunate twist, Craig was later disqualified from the second place in Race 1 because he lost his engine cover. Although this was recovered and re-fitted for Race 2, the boat was deemed to have broken the rules due to a clip failing – a second place and vital points lost to a 50p clip!

On Sunday, by the time the first race got under way – this time from a standing start – the sun was blazing down and the sea was virtually flat. The Temple-Murray’s boat with its stepped bottom design was probably better suited to the smoother conditions. Again, he was chased by the Gibson/Browne boat, but held on to win both races, reversing the results of Saturday. However, the two wins on Saturday ensured that Gibson/Browne – the 2018 Champions – left Brixham still leading the F1 Class from Racing Green – Richard Mason / Adam Corser and Matahari 4 – Craig Temple-Murray.

Another father and son team that were celebrating a great weekend were Malc and Bradley Dopson – 66 Racing – competing in the F2 Class. They won both races on Saturday, and the fourth race on Sunday after finishing runners up in Race 3 – a perfect way to celebrate Fathers Day. They had to battle hard against Thurston – Ben Brown and Andrew Jenvy – a win and two second places ensured that they maintained their healthy lead in the F2 Class.

It was good to see 2016 British Champions & Record Holders Stuart and Ian Atlee out in Tintorera Racing.

Tintorera Racing – Stuart & Ian Atlee chased by 66 Racing – Malc & Bradley Dopson Photo: Nigel Cole

However, it was a disappointing weekend for them. A fourth place finish in Race 1 was followed by retirement from Race 2 – and they repeated this on Sunday. The boat looked spectacular often with its nose pointing skyward, but probably not the quickest way forward.

This season OCRDA has welcomed some newcomers to the sport and one of those teams in F1 is Justin Copland and Josh Lovelock from Cornwall in their stunning green boat Jam First (its all to do with scones!). They admit that the boat is a “work in progress” and they are learning a lot with each race weekend. A pair of 6th and 7th place finishes their reward from Brixham. I am sure that they will continue to make progress.

In addition to the power boat racing, jet ski racers also competed in four races. OCRDA are looking to develop their relationship with the jet ski racers, and the number of competitors is growing with each event. The P1 AquaX series are not holding UK jet ski races this year, so this is a great opportunity to get in some racing. Carl Lofthouse dominated the 300 Pro Class with 3 race wins, Rob Peters won the 300AM Class and Charles Mcilwraith won the 200 Class also winning every race.

The weekend was rounded off on Sunday afternoon with a prize giving ceremony to the winning teams at Breakwater Beach. The OCRDA show now rolls on to Norfolk with Round 4 at Kings Lynn at the end of July.

Race 1 – Saturday

Formula Sport 1
Taz A Mania Alfredo Alongi / David Finlayson

F3

1st. One Step Beyond Neil Williams / Connie Jones

F2

1st. 66 Racing Malc Dopson / Bradley Dopson
2nd. Thurston Ben Brown / Andrew Jenvy
3rd. Fatboy Twin Andy Childs / Mark Hayward

F1

1st. Smokey & The Bandit Jeremy Gibson / Malachy Browne
2nd. Banshee Racing Team Max Walker / Jerry Wills
3rd. Tommy 5 Star Racing Tim Spink / David Squires

Race 2 – Saturday

Formula Sport

1st.Taz A Mania Alfredo Alongi / David Finlayson

F3

1st. One Step Beyond Neil Williams / Connie Jones

F2

1st. 66 Racing Malc Dopson / Bradley Dopson
2nd. Thurston Ben Brown / Andrew Jenvy
3rd. Bullet Proof Paul Smith / Paula Brown

F1

1st. Smokey & The Bandit Jeremy Gibson / Malachy Browne
2nd. Matahari 4 Craig Temple-Murray / Tom Temple-Murray
3rd. Banshee Racing Team Max Walker / Jerry Wills

Race 3 – Sunday

Formula Sport

1st.Taz A Mania Alfredo Alongi / David Finlayson

F2

1st. Thurston Ben Brown / Andrew Jenvy
2nd. 66 Racing Malc Dopson / Bradley Dopson
3rd. Fatboy Twin Andy Childs / Mark Hayward

F1

1st. Matahari 4 Craig Temple-Murray / Tom Temple-Murray
2nd. Smokey & The Bandit Jeremy Gibson / Malachy Browne
3rd. Banshee Racing Team Max Walker / Jerry Wills

Race 4 – Sunday

Formula Sport

1st.Taz A Mania Alfredo Alongi / David Finlayson

F2

1st. 66 Racing Malc Dopson / Bradley Dopson
2nd. Fatboy Twin Andy Childs / Mark Hayward
3rd. Bullet Proof Paul Smith / Paula Brown

F1

1st. Matahari 4 Craig Temple-Murray / Tom Temple-Murray
2nd. Smokey & The Bandit Jeremy Gibson / Malachy Browne
3rd. Tommy 5 Star Racing Tim Spink / David Squires

OCRDA Championship after 3 Rounds

Formula Sport

1st. The Prodigy Bradley Cannings / Nick Butler 1000
2nd. Taz A Mania Alfredo Alongi / David Finlayson 800
3rd. No Mercy David Matthews / Mark Matthews 200

F3

1st. One Step Beyond Neil Williams / Connie Jones 1600
2nd. Kamo Krazee Anthony Walker / Paula Brown 760

F2

1st. Thurston Ben Brown / Andrew Jenvy 2248
2nd. Fatboy Twin Andy Childs / Mark Hayward 1828
3rd. Bullet Proof Paul Smith / Jack Webb 1823

Bullet Proof – Paul Smith & Paula Brown Photo: Nigel Cole

F1

1st. Smokey & The Bandit Jeremy Gibson / Malachy Browne 2106
2nd. Racing Green Richard Mason / Adam Corser 1707
3rd. Matahari 4 Craig Temple-Murray / Tom Temple-Murray 1628

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