Speed demons ready to power their way to glory at Stewartby showcase

The Powerboat GP RYA Sprint Championships take place at Stewartby Watersports Club at the weekend. Picture (c) Bryan Scott
The Powerboat GP RYA Sprint Championships take place at Stewartby Watersports Club at the weekend. Picture (c) Bryan Scott

A host of the UK’s top Powerboat racers will descend on Stewartby Watersports Club in Bedford at the weekend for the Powerboat GP RYA Sprint Championships.

This is a stand-alone event that will see six British Champions crowned as a storm of power arrives at Stewartby.

Action throughout the 2015 Powerboat GP British championship has been fast and frantic this season but the sprints hold a whole new competition for the British racers.

Everything that has happened so far this season no longer counts and the slate is wiped clean for this competition.

Each class will battle out for pole position and then over three heats and, by the end of the weekend, six individuals will be crowned Powerboat GP British RYA Sprint Champion.

First up is the GT15 class where junior racers aged 10-16 will battle for the top honour. The British Championship has been a fierce competition between Jonathan Brewer and Thomas Mantripp, but with previous events having no bearing on this event the title, it is there for the taking.

In the GT30 Class, Ben Jelf will be looking to claim the GT30 sprint title that eluded him in last year’s competition. Currently unbeaten this season in the British Championship, Ben will be looking to continue that form in the Sprint Championships and shake off the 2014 demons that saw his competition come to an early end after he was caught out by the windy conditions.

In the OSY400 Class the field is wide open as they head into their sprint championship with each of the Lowestoft racers eager to claim the crown. Another of the racers going for sprint gold will be Bedford’s Nigel Edwards,

Hoping to whip up a storm in the F4 Catamaran Class will be reigning sprint champion Ben Morse, who after a disastrous start to the season has a point to prove and a championship title to win.

Finally back in action will be the F2 Class; at speeds in excess of 120km/h they will twist and turn around the course in the bid to become champion. Steve Hoult is on flying form but Wigan’s Paul Balfour and Kent’s Colin Jelf, both former sprint champions, are formidable forces on the Stewartby course and are looking for glory, with Jelf hoping to use the home water to his full advantage.

Jason Brewer, Powerboat GP promoter, is looking forward to the action unfolding. “The rest of the season doesn’t count this weekend. So if you’ve had a bad start to the year you can forget about it and just focus on the event instead of playing catch up,” he said.

“It lends itself to some awesome action on the water and by the end of the weekend we’ll have six newly crowned British Sprint Champions.”

The on-water action will get underway from 10.30am on both Saturday and Sunday, starting with qualifying and then with each class competing over three heats to find the champions.