Scarborough served up a weekend of mighty, rolling waves that made surfers smile and powerboat and jet ski racers frown. With the safety of competitors being the primary concern, Saturday’s race programme was almost entirely abandoned and it was by no means certain that the fierce northerly wind and huge swell would die down sufficiently to allow Sunday’s racing to go ahead. But the wild North Sea calmed a little and the P1 fleet of ten race boats and twenty jet ski riders prepared to do battle in the Dale Power Solutions P1 Yorkshire Grand Prix of the Sea.
The P1 SuperStock schedule was extended to three races and the punishing conditions took their toll in the opening race with three boats becoming casualties. It was a baptism of fire for the many new faces in the starting line-up, with the boats repeatedly taking to the air in spectacular style as they tackled the huge swell. It will make exciting viewing on Motors TV next month and then on Sky TV later in the summer.
After three bruising races, the result could not have been closer with two teams finishing level on points and a countback required before the Quantum Racing crew of driver Kevin Burdock and navigator John Donnelly was declared as the winner. “That was tough, very tough” said a weary but jubilant Burdock. “I wasn’t sure if we had done enough to come out on top and had to wait for the points to be checked and the countback to take place. I’m learning all the time as a powerboat racer and want to get better and better. I can’t wait to get on the water again for the next round in Scotland.”
Pushed into second place by the countback system was the brother and sister team of Sam and Daisy Coleman from Pembrokeshire in the Pertemps Network boat, with Rawbank Racing just two points behind to claim the third podium spot.
P1 chief operating officer, Robert Wicks was relieved that racing was able to go ahead on the second day and praised the crews for their resilience: “The teams put on a superb show for the thousands of spectators along Marine Drive and the hydroflight and jet ski freestyle displays in the harbour drew big crowds. We enjoy racing in South Bay and really appreciate the warm welcome we receive from everyone in Scarborough.”
In the P1 jet ski race series, the much-anticipated, head-to-head encounter between the two top-ranked AquaX riders in the word – American Eric Francis and Phil Pope from Derbyshire – saw the British racer take top spot on the podium, proudly waving the Union Jack flag and telling the crowd that he plans to travel to Florida to take on the American in his own back yard and challenge for the No. 1 ranking. Welshman Richard Rowe and popular Scotsman Duncan Johnstone were the other AquaX class winners.
The North Sea won the day on Saturday, but it was the P1 teams and riders who took the honours on Sunday.
- Quantum Racing – 48points
- Pertemps Network – 48points
- Rawbank Racing – 46points
- Marine Racing – 43points
- Typhoo – 41points
- Experience Kissimmee – 33points
- Arthur J Gallagher – 33points
- Visit Wales – 13points
- Spirit of Inverclyde – 0points
- Pickfords – 0points
- Southstreet – 0points
Roy Mantle has more than 25 years experience in sales, marketing, PR, sponsorship, events and sports management both in-house with blue-chip companies and as a consultant.
He founded and ran two successful sports marketing agencies in the 1980s before becoming head of PR & sponsorship for Guinness in 1992, where he first became interested in environmental issues.
He negotiated and helped to plan the activation programme for the Guinness sponsorship of the 1999 Rugby World Cup and managed the Guinness sponsorship of London Irish for nearly a decade.
He has worked on projects for the Department of Education since 2002, handled the Guinness sponsorship at Cheltenham Racecourse for more than 15 years and is currently Company Secretary & In-House PR for Powerboat P1.