Curtain comes down on successful LOBMBC powerboating season
- Credit: Fred Emeny
The 'Battle of Britain' finale to the LOBMBC's shortened 2021 racing season on Sunday brought a somewhat premature end to this year's action packed events.
But there were still drivers completing their on the water training, some taking part in heats on the day with positive hopes of competing in a full year of racing in 2022.
The club has high hopes for the future of the sport at all levels and even at this late stage is looking to recruit personnel for the future in order to back up the hard workers on the Rescue Boats, Gate Marshals, Pit Crews and Launching and Recovery volunteers.
With F2 heats taking place on the longer dog leg course extended into the North Bay, as well as club handicap and pontoon starts, there was plenty of variety to please all and the day was full of high octane action with mixed expectations of the final results.
As the afternoon continued, an exceptionally high tide, combined with increasing wind speed, necessitated the Wherry Buoy being moved close to the clubhouse in order to comply with spectator safety and gave yet another aspect to the day.
During the early stages of the OSY400 Hydroplane heats it was obvious that the country's top drivers were throwing their all into the event and as the surface of the broad chopped up by wind and prop wash, club stalwart and sponsor, 28 Wayne Moyse hooked his pickle fork whilst approaching the buoy turn and rolled over, with 8 Scott Goodings too close to avoid driving over the upturned hull, luckily missing the driver in the water.
Safely floated on to the rescue stretcher, Wayne was taken for medical checks but unable to compete further due to the damage to his hull, however Scott was fortunately able to continue throughout the afternoon.
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This class welcomed numerous different drivers, some in a change of class with GT driver 21 Thomas Lacey-Goodman holding his own with the experienced drivers, new to racing, 87 Jamie Elmy and 14 Jason Peak taking commendable second and third places overall respectively with the Rex King Challenge Trophy and fastest lap going to Racing Hydro driver 77 Thomas Mantripp.
The prestigious and highly sought after, Mick Pentney Memorial Trophy was deservedly presented to 73 Brian Shulver, a popular win for the club's hard working Vice Commodore.
Seven boats in GT 15/30 classes raced together for separate trophies, welcoming new driver 30 Madelyn Duncan, daughter of Brett, ace Racing Hydro driver and boat builder, who will no doubt soon be busy repairing the Wayne Moyse boat for the next nationals.
10 Jessica Haylock made a guest appearance following a season lay-off and 8 Darrel Hibbert performed well following a problematic year but there was a massive effort from the ever improving 3 Ashley Penfold who successfully lifted his grandad's Bob Penfold Cup.
Visiting driver 18 Jamie Atlee received the LOBMBC Junior Trophy.
These two classes will hopefully continue as the future entry level of the sport entertaining spectators with their totally committed attitude on the short course producing memorable handicap finishes.
And so to the 'Big Boats'. Four club Formula 2 Catamarans and the lone F4 of veteran driver 3 Brian Block took to the extended course for handicap racing with boundless enthusiasm keeping the crowds looking far up the course as the high speed craft took advantage of the longer home run from the North Bay Buoy towards the park.
Local driver 19 Leon Wigg, desperate for a podium result, driving as he has all season on the limit hit and removed the buoy in the first heat, stopping the race.
The spectacle of the tight Wherry Buoy turns was sadly lost with the crowd safety driven shortening of the course but the spectators could enjoy a much different view of the 180 degree turns with all the different photo opportunities.
The changes to the course played with the familiarity of the course for the extremely high speed F2s and played into the hands of the earlier starters, giving 14 Brett Croxson his debut win and the Battle of Britain Trophy.
The F4 of Brian Block gave him the best performance of his season, giving him a first and second place but sadly his reliability didn't last for the last lap of the third heat and he failed to finish; he did however receive the Lord Louis Mountbatten Trophy for the F4 class.
Club members will be competing in the ongoing National Championships at Stewartby Water, Bedfordshire on September 18/19.