Exciting evening of powerboating on Oulton Broad attracts plenty of interest
PUBLISHED: 05:57 19 May 2017
The powerboating programme at Oulton Broand got under way in beautiful weather, encouraging lots of drivers and spectators to the evening's racing.
Eleven Hydroplanes filled the pit pontoon to capacity and a full house of Junior GT Monohulls were ready for action although there was a depleted Sportsboat class, due to mechanical difficulties.
The weekly junior heats are building up nicely as the season progresses, with Edward Jay giving the Haylock siblings a run for their money, taking a creditable third place in the first heat.
Jayme Speller improves with each outing as she competes against the vastly more experienced Thomas Mantripp in their more powerful boats.
Thomas made all his experience show early in the event with some classic manoeuvres, bouncing over the rough water, but Jayme took advantage of her start handicap and, not to be outdone in leaping out of the water aggressively, won the LOMBC Trophy, with Thomas second and Jessica Haylock third.
After a great deal of effort in the pits, the large field of Hydroplanes was joined for the second heat by Bexley Nunn and the circuit absolutely swarmed with boats, all having their separate duels with up to five boats at a time taking the turn in front of the spectators on the park and producing what was described as some of the best Hydro racing seen in years.
James Marr produced some really good results, improving in each heat, only to see the Brunswick Trophy go to Brian Shulver, with Brad Holman, driver of the evening, taking third.
Both the racing hydros succumbed to gremlins, although Nigel Stopforth was placed fourth despite only completing two heats.
Brett Duncan’s ‘buzzing wasp’ was very lively over the rough water and Karon Jude continues her learning curve, made more difficult on the congested course.
Sportsboats lost veteran driver Brian Block after the first heat, so it was left to Peter Rix in his monohull to compete against the ‘big cat’ of Tom Roberts and their handicaps.
Despite Tom having plenty of open water to gain speed, the seasoned ex-hydroplane guru lifted the LOBMBC Trophy.
The club’s big Grand Prix weekend will take place on the Bank Holiday Weekend (May 28/29).