Powerboats return to action at Oulton Broad as wind finally eases

PUBLISHED: 06:38 30 June 2017

Tom Roberts takes first place from  Ray Birrie as powerboating racing returns to Oulton Broad. Picture: Bob Hammond

Tom Roberts takes first place from Ray Birrie as powerboating racing returns to Oulton Broad. Picture: Bob Hammond


There has been no racing at Oulton Broad for the previous two weeks due to unseasonably high winds causing dangerous water conditions - and it was again blustery as the action returned.

Ever mindful of the possibilities of racing boats flying into the air or even nose diving into the water, and having seen the wind calm later in the evening over the past two weeks, the officer of the day decided to wait until 7pm to see if conditions improved.

Having done so, the larger, heavier Sportsboats were able to race their three heats and as was hoped, the wind abated enough for the Hydroplanes to follow, with the Junior GT15/30 class able to squeeze in just two heats as the skies darkened.

For the fans of the Big Cats there was a welcome return to the circuit of Mike Tolman who had sadly blown pistons in his engine at the very first event of the season so major repair work, business commitments and conditions had prevented his return but hopefully he will now be racing every other week. Tom Roberts also returned to the Broad, joining stalwarts Ray Birnie and Brian Block.

First place and the EP Barrus Trophy went to Lyndon Pallet Group’s Tom Roberts with Gooch Accident Repair’s Ray Birnie second. Mike Tolman was third, his engine now run in and ready for some faster laps.

The Hydroplanes were competing for the King of the Broads, Group Handicap Trophy. A smaller field than usual cautiously made their way around the course as they adapted to the conditions. Even so, Sean Woods spun at the first buoy, showing that the water could still be treacherous.

As anticipated, Greens of Beccles’ Wayne Turner lifted the trophy for yet another year followed by Jamie Marr in the Scott Builders OSY with Sean Woods third.

The Junior GT Monohulls racing on the shorter course saw Jessica and Joseph Haylock attempting to fine tune their handicap starts, urged on by father, John, but despite all his efforts the experienced Thomas Mantripp won the Bob Penfold Trophy with Jessica having to settle for second and Joseph third.

Despite the late start and several competitors deciding not to launch their boats, a good crowd of spectators and members enjoyed a good, if long awaited, evening’s racing.

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