Rounds one and two of the 2016 UK ThunderCat Racing Championship were settled in Bournemouth today.
The event was supported by Offshore Racer, Ricard Carr’s Fortitudo Property company.
Carr told me,
It is great to see so many competitors and spectators at the event this early in the season. I’m really pleased to support this event and am encouraged to the see the passion of the competitors.
The final heats of the M-Shape discipline were run with over night leader Bligh Julius holding on to his advantage.
I split my best prop yesterday and was in a dilemma of what to use today. Dave Harwood of Steel developments told me that it was the perfect opportunity to test other propellers today.
It ended up with Team Multispark M-Shape One – Two, Gary Tolman and Scott Brown took an extremely well earned silver, considering Tolman’s off water problems.
On Thursday I dropped my Tohatsu engine on my finger and on Saturday morning I had a ‘coming together’ with a yellow Bournemouth Bus!
Connor and Mark Blackman were third place overall, the son and father team have dialled ‘Ragworm’ in as a Championship contender.
The teams took a short break before another 50 km ‘Enduro’ race with a ‘Le Mans’ start.
Microlink/Ahmad Tea (Rob Davies & Darren Phillips) took the win in the 2015 Championship winning hull and will surely be a main contender this year.
Simon Matthews who had been in excellent form all weekend, steered Sea Vacations home to second, with Bligh Julius having to settle with bronze after suffering carburettor problems.
Putting everything together, Julius was the overall weekend winner, but perhaps the true winners were the ThunderCat Racing organisers who put on an Event to match anything I have seen at international level.
Corporate hospitality, professional commentary and hundreds of spectators only added to the season opener.
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.