The Powerboat GP British RYA Powerboat Championship comes to a close this weekend as Britain’s top Powerboat racers head to Stewartby for the final event of the season the Bedford Grand Prix.
50 competitors have battled it out in 6 classes over the course of the summer at 4 separate Grand Prix weekends in their bid to become 2016 Powerboat GP RYA British Powerboat Champions.
The action has been fast and furious throughout the season culminating in what is set to be the biggest finale to the season to date.
Thomas Mantripp looks set to seal the deal on his double crown having already secured the GT15 Sprint Championship in August.
The 15 year old from Lowestoft has looked a formidable force throughout the 2016 season finishing every championship round on the podium. Thomas has a strong lead in the championship but Lincoln’s Jonathan Brewer will look to finish the season on a high and catch his rival in a bid for glory.
George Elmore will launch an attack on Harvey Smith’s current third place championship place whilst Ethan Goodfellow will look for a strong finish to a fantastic first season for the youngster.
Tiegen Goodfellow will look to stop Ben Jelf from claiming his thirteenth British Championship title.
The championship’s young lady racer is the only GT30 competitor to keep Ben off the podium top spot this season and the plucky youngster will be looking to vie for the gold medal at the final event.
Meanwhile Jack Pickles and Thomas Mantripp will go head to head for the Bronze medal position in a battle that’s had spectators on the edge of their seats all season.
Little separates competitors in this class as they head into the final event of the year and it will take every ounce of skill and determination to secure the 2016 Powerboat GP RYA British T850 Championship Crown.
Bill Owen currently leads the championship but team mate Steve Cash will be looking to chase Billy down in a battle of epic proportions to steal the championship.
Meanwhile Jason Brewer will look to put engine reliability issues behind him and end the season on a high with a Grand Prix win.
The OSY400 Hydroplane class is still wide open and anyone’s to claim, with Championship leader Luke Hugman retiring from racing 2016 Sprint Champion Jamie Marr will be looking to seal the deal and keep Jason Mantripp at bay.
With strong performances from newcomers Wayne Moyse and David Smith at the sprint championship’s the Crown is anyone’s for the taking.
Sam Whittle looks set to claim his second consecutive British title in the F4 catamaran class with a comfortable buffer between him and the silver medal spot held by Rob Veares.
Sam will be looking to finish the season on a high and will know that each of his fellow competitors will look to keep him from the top spot.
Veares will be joined by Ben Jelf, Matt Wood and Leon King as they look to knock Whittle from the gold medal podium position and fight for vital championship points in some extremely close racing.
High Octane and high dramas are promised in the final round of the Powerboat GP RYA British F2 Championship campaign.
Wigan’s Paul Balfour leads the way in the championship and looks favourite to claim the crown however his fellow competitors will not make the victory and easy one for him and will continue to fight him every inch of the course.
Colin Jelf currently holds the silver medal position and following engine issues during the last two Grand Prix, he will be determined to get back to winning ways.
Also putting in a strong attack will be reigning champion Steve Hoult who spectacularly crashed out during the opening event of the season and has been clawing his way back up the championship table.
Powerboat GP promoter Jason Brewer had this to say on the forthcoming finale;
It’s been a fantastic season so far and there’s been some exhilarating racing throughout the fleets of competitors. Although several of the championship leaders look safe in their position’s to claim their crowns this is Powerboat Racing and anything can happen and anyone of them could still be caught.
Every racer will bring their ‘A game’ next weekend and it promises to be a fantastic finale to the 2016 Powerboat GP season.
The on water action will get underway from 10.30 on both Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September.
Each championship class over the weekend will compete during qualifying sessions and then race over 3 heats for the 2016 Powerboat GP Bedford Grand Prix title.
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.