The UIM 3A World Championship concluded in Tvedestrand, Norway with a twist in the tail.
Going into the third race, most thought that Paul Etasse’s Team Slayer had done enough to secure the 2016 title.
With 700 points in the bag and his closest rival Jack Bobin holding only 400 points, Etasse only had to finish 5th to take a Gold Medal home to Guernsey.
When the green flag dropped, the 3A competitors faced seas rougher than the first race and it was no surprise to see the 2 Phantom 19 G hulls ‘neck and neck’ after the first lap.
The predictable turned into the unbelievable when Team Slayer hoisted the orange retirement flag.
Etasse had broken his Evinrude saddle in the most unpleasant of seas and was unable to continue.
Bobin, totally unaware of the misfortune that had befallen his rival, drove as he always does, flat out and looking for a win.
When he finished 4 minutes ahead of second placed Rasmus Hamrén and Filip Eriksson, Bobin and navigator Barry Culver had no idea they had won a World Championship.
It was only when we finished the race in Kilsund that I saw Slayer parked up with an orange flag flying, then it hit home that I was World Champion.
Johan Torsell and Eva Petersson put on another excellent display to finish third in the third race of the Championship.
The plucky Eva, who has been having health problems, was totally exhausted after the race, but in equal measure, thrilled to have finished such a tough Offshore endurance.
Barry Culver, a veteran of Offshore Racing dedicated his World Championship win at the Gala Prize Giving to Howard Wretham, his old team mate in XCAT Racing who sadly passed away last year, whilst the modest Bobin shook hands and received hearty pats on the back from fellow competitors, still trying to process a crazy Tuesday in Norway.
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.