Handicap events produce some thrilling powerboat action on Oulton Broad

All nine hydroplanes round the buoy in a dash for the chequered flag at Oulton Broad. Picture: Paul

All nine hydroplanes round the buoy in a dash for the chequered flag at Oulton Broad. Picture: Paul Breach - Credit: Archant

A stunning evening of Hydroplane racing had pit crews and spectators alike on their toes stretching to see the outcome of two of the most exciting finishes in this class at Oulton Broad.

Handicap racing put on by the Lowestoft and Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club is of a very contentious nature with the gaps between the competitors a matter for debate.

In the ideal world all boats from first starter to last should cross the line in the two thirds of a mile course within seconds.

Wind, water conditions and amounts of racers on the water all contribute to defy this possibility normally but this week the finishing was nip and tuck, with race stoppages and re-runs adding to the tension together with Greens of Beccles' Wayne Turner losing his number one propeller having finished a heat, only to reappear to compete again and collect the Mike and Jenny Snowling Shield, Brett Duncan took second place with a shocked Scott Builders' Karon Jude third, having taken her maiden first heat win to the applause of her fellow drivers and crews.

The Junior GT Class saw all five regulars fighting it out and showing their 'can do' attitude with the return of Joseph Haylock from his other sporting and theatrical activities taking third place, Thomas Mantripp, running the club's training GT15 in preparation for forthcoming novice drivers appearances, used his experience and was placed second.

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Not satisfied with a joint first place the previous week, Edward Jay lifted the Lifeboat Crew Trophy, taking first place outright, much to his father's delight.

Five Sportsboats signed in racing for the Lifeboat Trophy but gremlins, usually associated with Hydroplanes struck and Tim Lewis, having developed a leak in his monohull failed to start at all. Not to be outdone Peter Rix fell foul of different steering problems this week being towed in with his steering wheel in his hand at the end of the first heat.

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The remaining three Catamans nevertheless put up a spirited show as Gooch Accident Repairs' Ray Birnie tried all he could to put off the relentless onslaught of the faster Linden Pallet Tom Roberts boat and catch the HR850 of Brian Block - but all to no avail.

The Lifeboat Trophy was added to his collection by Tom Roberts, veteran Block claiming that he had been 'mugged' by Tom's tiny four point lead.

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