Speed and spray on Oulton Broad for popular powerboat racing

2022 Season Record Hydroplane entry, ready to race.

2022 Season Record Hydroplane entry, ready to race. - Credit: John Soanes

It was hot, hot, hot at Oulton Broad for the weekly LOBMBC event as the sun glinted off the higher than normal water for a festival of speed and spray.

The main event of the evening saw Hydroplanes racing in "Group Handicap" format for the spectacular Daily Mirror Trophy.

2022 Season Record Hydroplane entry, ready to race

2022 Season Record Hydroplane entry, ready to race. - Credit: John Soanes

It proved to be beyond all expectations as the mass starts of the 12 OSY400 Yamatos funnelled past the spectators in clouds of spray, so high that it was difficult to see the boats until they emerged from the Wherry buoy onto the back straight.

9 Wayne Turner in his 250cc Racing Hydro started behind the rest of the field, showing immense skill as his high speed craft approached the pack of slower craft passing the spectator area, forcing him to judge his turn cautiously and then a rapid dash for the top buoy.

"Big Cats" fighting for position.

"Big Cats" fighting for position. - Credit: Fred Emeny

Special mention must be made of 74 Sean Woods who appeared to be revelling in the race format, achieving overall fifth place in the first two heats but sadly having to retire following an incident which holed his craft.

2nd and 3rd place close action.

2nd and 3rd place close action. - Credit: John Soanes

Smiles abounded at the presentation as 9 Wayne Moyse took the trophy, at last proving the true capabilities of his boat, a well earned second went to 9 Wayne Turner followed by an outstanding drive earning 64 Ben Sallis a creditable third place.

Keen competition for 2nd and 3rd places.

Keen competition for 2nd and 3rd places. - Credit: Fred Emeny

Driver of the Day was awarded to 37 James Bowman for a spirited fourth place performance.

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The GT30s took part in competitive racing, with an incident between 87 Gracie-Mae Sampson and 24 Madelyn Duncanthe whilst turning at the Wherry buoy resulting in Gracie-Mae retiring.

Group Handicap Trophy winner, 28 Wayne Moyse

Group Handicap Trophy winner, 28 Wayne Moyse - Credit: Fred Emeny

The ever improving 8 Darrel Hibbert had a highly successful evening, with two seconds and a first heat win to be awarded the John Easter Trophy, with the two very competitive blue boats, 21 Brad Leeson and 26 Joseph Haylock taking second and third respectively just 10 points separating this duo.

Spectator's view of GT30 action

Spectator's view of GT30 action. - Credit: John Soanes

The Junior class GT15s were sadly depleted as 11 Abbie Haylock suffered gearbox failure, so both the 2022 novice drivers fought for points on the short course, over heats two and three, with 88 Poppy Stewart winning the Oulton Broad Motel Trophy, 14 Mason Jessop was second.

Young drivers in GT15 action.

Young drivers in GT15 action. - Credit: Fred Emeny

In the Sportsboat class just two F2 Catamarans were available to challenge each other and their handicaps but all thanks must be given to 88 Colin Stewart for his outstanding generosity, sportsmanship and excellent clubmanship as he loaned his spare engine to his fellow driver 81 Ricky Gibbs in order that sportsboat heats could take place.

Ricky, frustrated by the failure of his engine earlier in the season had been unable to race his striking looking F2 since, jumped at the offer to race and proved his worth and won all three heats and accepting the F W Skipper Trophy with emotional thanks to Colin who had failed to finish the second heat, ironically with engine problems.