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Drivers turn up the heat on Oulton Broad

PUBLISHED: 06:54 05 May 2017

Jayme Speller makes a move in her GT30 debut race. Picture: Paul Breach

Jayme Speller makes a move in her GT30 debut race. Picture: Paul Breach

Paul Breach

The weather looked as if it might curtail the evening race meeting at Oulton Broad due to poor visibility but with a prompt start and well managed turnarounds, all the heats for the three classes were completed.

In the junior heats, regular drivers Jessica Haylock and brother Joseph were joined by champion Thomas Mantripp, giving the club training GT15 craft a run-out prior.

Family race DNA came to the fore as 2016 competitor Jayme Speller drove out from the pits to compete in the larger engined GT30 class for the first time, the increased power enabling her to achieve race speed earlier and power out of the turns, making passes using the inside racing line. As mother Nikki proudly watched on Jayme took a spirited second place in the first heat, followed by a first and second, winning the Shetland Shield Trophy overall. Thomas came second with Jessica just keeping in front of Joseph by eight points.

The Sportsboat class saw just three boats competing, with Peter Rix settling confidently into Monohull driving, joined by Catamaran stalwarts Ray Birnie and veteran Brian Block. Rix lifted the Anglian Tanks and Vessels Trophy, an excellent start to his first full season in this class.

The previous week’s engine problems for Tom Roberts and Mike Tolman had sadly reduced the field and we are still to see additional Club Monohull and Catamaran competitors appear from their winter lay-off.

What more can be said about the efforts made by the Hydroplane pack. Ever increasing numbers in this exciting class are already proving to be the heart of club racing this year and it appears that the championship for 2017 will not be a walkover. The stylish presentation of the boats is a credit to the drivers, sponsors and sport so we look forward to a great many memorable events.

Close fought racing went on up until the last heat of the evening and yet again racing DNA came to the fore as ex catamaran driver Brian Shulver took first place.

Sean Woods found his change of boat a positive move as he took second place with Tony Knights a creditable third.

A real must for spectators this season is keeping a keen eye on the small, fast and very light boat of Brett Duncan.

For all the fixtures at Oulton Broad this summer visit www.oulton-broad.com/powerboat-racing-fixtures-for-2017

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