“You’ve got to have guts to do it, but it’s fun”: Powerboat championships leave a splash in Suffolk town
PUBLISHED: 14:27 04 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:42 04 August 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
As the final day of the national championship for powerboat racing comes to a close today, it’s safe to say the sport made a splash.
This weekend Lowestoft was the host to round four of seven in the national championship for offshore power racing.
With incredible views of the entire circuit available from Lowestoft pier to Pakefield, locals were thrilled to watch the four stages of races which saw powerboats charge along the shoreline at faster than motorway speeds.
Nick Newsam, who came from Torquay, has been racing for nearly 20 years and is one of the nation's best racers.
He said: "It's a rush. "Anybody can drive in a flat calm sea, but when it's lumpy and bumpy it comes down to driver ability and how the boat is set up, and bottle.
In the first round of this championship, Mr. Newsam crashed and sunk his boat.
He said: "You've got to have guts to do it, but it's fun. It's the element of danger I suppose."
There were four races between Saturday and Sunday, with over 20 speedboats roaring across the coastline.
Vince Berridge, a builder from Poole and powerboat navigator, said: "It's like rally racing. I'm the eyes, when you're starting off there's boats all around you. When you hit the first corner it's very busy.
"You need to know where they are.
Mr. Berridge has a speed record for the fastest speed reached in a race. He said: "Powerboating is an addiction, actually. I've been into boats for years and years - my uncle and dad used to take me out in the boat. I was seven or eight years old, ever since I first got in the boat, I was just addicted.
"No one's ever going quite fast enough, everyone's always looking for that extra half mile an hour. If you're doing that in a 25 minute race, it's enough to win. At the moment I'm third in the championship."
Cath Lovell, secretary of the Offshore Circuit Racing Drivers Association, said she hopes to bring the championship back to Lowestoft next year.
Here are some of the most thrilling moments from the event:
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