Cut and thrust racing brings excitement to Oulton Broad

81 Ricky Gibbs and 88 Colin Stewart hold off the competition to share overall first place.

81 Ricky Gibbs and 88 Colin Stewart hold off the competition to share overall first place. - Credit: Fred Emeny 

An evening of stunning powerboat racing brought excitement and entertainment to the assembled spectators at Oulton Broad.

Midfield competitors enjoyed their own separate battles as did the leaders of the pack, as many of the previously fastest boats were shown a clean pair of heels by a few of the relatively newer drivers who took full advantage of their individual handicaps and clear water.

Seven GT30 Monohulls took to the water, producing great cut and thrust racing. The eventual winner of the GT Bowl, 8 Darrel Hibbert, was hotly pursued by 26 Joseph Haylock, second and 3 Ashley Penfold in third place.

Mixed fortunes affected top drivers 21 Brad Leeson and 34 Paul Penfold but they were still able to contribute to thrilling races, being held off by Ipswich driver 24 Madelyn Duncan in her lively boat.

The GT15s missing 11 Abbie Haylock to health difficulties saw four of the club's younger drivers competing with 14 Mason Jessop and 21 Riley Hudson both scoring 616 points to tie for third place.

Racing for the Aline Jordan Trophy, 9 Jared Duncan took the win with 88 Poppy Stewart second.

Five Sportsboat Class Formula 2s signed in to race but once more a competitor dropped out.

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Having completed his practice session 44 Lewis Houben suffered irreversible battery failure following his months of hard work renovating his catamaran.

For the spectators, four remaining "big cats" battled it out over two heats as 17 Ben Jelf and 19 Leon Wigg chased the two slower boats and their handicaps, only to find themselves in joint third place with 88 Colin Stewart and 81 Ricky Gibbs both scoring 760 points for the Daily Mirror Trophy.

The OSY400 Yamato racing again experienced mixed fortunes for all levels of drivers, 74 Sean Woods' previous good performances in previous weeks seem to have faded as had several of the club's faster boats and with limited heats for them to recover position, leaving the Lacey-Goodman brothers, 42 Thomas and 21 Harry to take first and third places respectively in the Daily Mirror Trophy races, with 13 Danny Watson a well deserved second.

Special mention goes to Beccles driver 9 Wayne Turner who took the Silver Medal at the Formula 250 Hydro GP at Mora, Sweden last weekend following his Bronze in Poland recently.

Following the well earned win by England's Lionesses at Wembley, we must mention the LOBMBC's and the Powerboat Racing World's positive mixed gender driving policy, with Oulton Broad's F2 lap record currently held by Mette Brandt Bjerknaes - could they be the "Mermaids"?