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LPRC Drivers Celebrate success at National Championhips

posted 4 May 2015, 07:55 by Lancashire Powerboat   [ updated 4 May 2015, 08:24 ]


The 2015 Powerboat GP British Championship got underway in style this weekend as it kicked off at the Lancashire GP at Carr Mill Dam in St Helens. 30 Powerboat Teams form all over the UK headed to the Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club for the start of the British campaign battling it out across 5 class of boat.


 

(L - Matt Wood being pursued by Dave James in the T850 class. R – Dave James on the 1st place podium)

In the T850 class it looked to be Chequered Flag Racing Team’s Matt Wood who was set to take the first honours. On the first day of racing he secured pole position and stormed the first heat from start to finish. The second heat once more saw Matt take an early lead and set to clinch the victory, when two laps from the end engine problems forced him to retire resulting in Lancashire’s very own Dave James from the ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ racing team securing the win. Despite every effort from Matt, in the third heat Dave got the best start and held the youngster off to take the Lancashire GP title.

 

 

(L - Mike Pillow storms to victory R- Mike with Sam and Natalie on the podium)

Meanwhile in the F4 class, reigning champion Ben Morse was plagued with problems which saw fierce rival Mike Pillow only to happy to capitalise on the champions’ misfortune. Pillow qualified on pole position and went on to secure a clean sweep of heat wins to take the Grand Prix title and the all-important first round championship points. 2nd Place went to Sam Whittle and 3rd Place saw female driver Natalie Craddock. Talking after the race Mike had this to say on the win “I’m very happy to win this weekend. The boat was handling well during testing at Easter, but so was everyone else so I wasn’t sure what would happen this weekend.” He continued “it’s along way until the end of the season and there’s some strong competition in the fleet. I’ve taken that all important step towards winning the championship. It’s been 31 years since I last won a British title so that will be my focus from now on. We’ll see what happens at the next round in a few weeks time.”

 

 

(L- Ben Jelf leading the way in the GT30 class R- GT30 Podium)

The GT30 class saw the reigning GT30 champion Ben Jelf once more carving the way around the course as he secured pole position. Like the F4 winner Ben stormed his way through the heats to take 3 out of 3 wins and his first trophy of the season. The two new racers, Bexley Nunn and Jamie Norris-Still took 2nd and 3rd podium places respectively gaining confidence and experience with every lap.

  

 

(L - Thomas Mantripp racing to the finish R- GT15 Podium)

One of the fieriest battles of the weekend came from the junior racers in the GT15 Class with Thomas Mantripp and Jonathan Brewer throwing down the gauntlet to each other. Jonathan secured pole position, but in the first heat as they rounded the first turn it was Mantripp that took the lead. Holding Jonathan off until the chequered flag Mantripp secured his win in the first heat. As the youngsters headed in to heat two the action was set to hot up. Jonathan sat on the reigning champions wake the whole race waiting for an opportunity to pass, when two laps from the finish he ceased the moment and sailed home to take his first ever heat win. 

The battle was really on and with the Lancashire GP result depending on the final heat, all eyes turned to the water. Thomas took the lead but once again Jonathan bore down on him not giving him an inch he managed to squeeze past him to take the lead for a couple of laps. Mantripp, the determined champion took his opportunity to reclaim the lead and pulled away to take the chequered flag, and with it the Lancashire GP title. This is certainly a contest which promises to have us all on the edge of our seats as the 2015 championship unfolds.


  

(L- Matt Palfreyman on his lap of honour R – F2 Podium)

Powering ahead in the F2 championship was Lancashire’s Matt Palfreyman, the youngest racer in the F2 fleet. Matt,  took to the water with something to prove. The young gun secured pole position and didn’t put a turn wrong all weekend, he went on to secure 3 straight wins and scoop his first National Grand Prix title. The F2 podium was completed by Steve Hoult and Paul Balfour making it a Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club podium to be proud of.

Talking proudly after the customary early bath for a first championship win “I’m so happy with how the boat has handled this weekend, I couldn’t be more pleased to have taken the home win” he continued. “We’ve put a lot of work in over the winter to test the limits of the boat to get the best setups and that works really paid off this weekend. Now to focus on the next round and the rest of the season.”


 All attentions now turn to the Lowestoft Grand Prix on the 24th & 25th May as the Powerboat GP Championship heads to Oulton Broad and a whole new set of racing conditions for the competitors to compete with stay up to date with all the action on www.powerboatgp.co.uk

Powerboat GP 2015 National Championship - Opening Round at Carr Mill

posted 28 Apr 2015, 13:24 by Lancashire Powerboat   [ updated 28 Apr 2015, 13:55 ]

Local competitors battle it in the bid for the title

On the 2nd and 3rd of May, the first round of the 2015 Powerboat GP National Championship will take place at Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club, St Helens. Of the seven categories of boats in action, the North West yielded 3 champions last year including the winner of the hotly contested F4s class where drivers from Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club based in St. Helens finished in the 1st and 2nd placed spots.

 Ben Morse (21, Wigan) and Natalie Craddock (19, Wigan) fought throughout the year and Natalie held her own amongst the field of 8 drivers, and over the course of the 6 race series, to take the runner up spot in what was her first year in this class. This year she returns with a new sponsor and her intentions firmly set on taking home the championship trophy in September. Neither of these drivers are new to championship wins. Ben has many lower category championships under his belt and has won the F4s championship for the past two years, and Natalie was GT30 National Champion in 2011 and GT30 British Sprint Champion in 2012. 

The F4s class boats are catamaran hulls and are powered by Mercury 850cc motors, which produce 60HP. Capable of speeds in excess of 70mph, these boats effectively fly along above the water rather than sitting in it, providing a spectacle for spectators as the driver’s battle at close quarters.


The youngsters don’t have all the glory to themselves, Bill Owen (58, Ashton–in-Makerfield) drove to victory as last year’s Powerboat GP National Champion in the T850 Monohull Class. Bill, who has been racing since 1971 is part of ‘The Last of the Summer Wine’ racing team and will be competing alongside his team mates in what has become one of the hottest contested classes in the National Championships.

The fastest and loudest boats to compete will be the F2 class and last year’s National Champion is another Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club driver. After first taking the F2 crown way back in 2003, Paul Balfour (49, Wigan) further extended his record by taking the RYA Powerboat GP 2014 British Championship title for a fifth

time. Paul will be looking to gain the all-important points in this opening round at his home club where he has already had success in 2015 winning the club’s Tang Leaze Trophy.

F2 Powerboat Racing uses a tunnel hull catamaran design that is capable of both high speeds and exceptional maneuverability. Due to their specially designed hulls, F2 boats are able to turn almost instantaneously incurring more G forces than any other racing machine on the planet. With an extremely high power to weight ratio the acceleration of the F2 hull is truly phenomenal with acceleration measuring 0-60 mph is less than 5 seconds. The F2 Class is the pinnacle of circuit racing in the UK.


The National Championship events are a true family day out, with free admission to two full days of action packed racing. Six classes of boats will take to the water over the weekend, with competitor’s ages spanning five decades, and there are plenty of locations around the lake for spectators to enjoy the competition.

LPRC Drivers Claim 3 National Championship 2014 Titles

posted 14 Oct 2014, 13:05 by Lancashire Powerboat

After first taking the F2 crown way back in 2003, Paul Balfour further extended his record by taking the RYA Powerboat GP 2014 British Championship title for a fifth time after he dominated proceedings at
 the Bedford Grand Prix. “It couldn’t have gone any better” he said as he climbed from his Tod Lamb built American sprint hull. “To win against the three times UIM F2 World Champion Colin Jelf proves I must be doing something right.”

Balfour, who had lead every lap of all three heats didn’t put a foot wrong, even though he had a huge advantage coming into the last round of the series, some fourteen points ahead of his closet rival Jelf. “With all the new Optimax engines there’s not much between each of us these days, which makes it more exciting for those watching from the shore. The only real issue I have had this season has been the race starts but we made a huge step forward at Chaswater where we redistributed the weight in the boat and it transformed my starts. All being well I will be back next year to defend the title.”

One driver who will once again try and stand in his way will be Colin Jelf. His final race weekend had been decimated by electrical issues. “I really thought we had a chance after getting pole position for the first heat” he said, “but a battery then alternator problem blighted my weekend. Then to top that off the steering started to play up in the final heat. To win this title you have to be consistent and Balfour got it right making no mistakes at all. He’s had a really good season, where his boat is suited to the smooth, tight twisting courses that we have run this year, then once he got some decent propellers he was really hard to catch.”

Ben Morse was another driver who was very hard to catch. Missing out on getting pole position at the opening round at the Lowestoft Grand Prix was the only point he had dropped in his all conquering season. “I’m made up with this result today” he said “it’s a hell of a lot gustier out there on the course than it looks, so to put a lap in two seconds quicker than anyone else out there was awesome and I couldn’t be happier.”

With conditions on the course becoming less predictable Morse had opted to put some more weight into his Molgaard hull just prior to the final heat and it certainly paid dividends as once again he stormed off into the lead. Coming home in second place in the third and final heat was Natalie Craddock, which gave her third overall on the day and a well deserved second place in the national championship. “Not bad for the first year” said Craddock. “It has been a good season and with different people on the podium it certainly mixed it up. I’m learning new things about the boat at every race meeting. Today we adjusted the steering and it felt like the boat was on rails when I put it into the turns. What a great way to end the season, getting second place through my own ability really matters.”

Third in the F4S Championship went to the vastly experienced Mike Pillow. “After my season was ruined with me finishing in eighth place at the Kingsbury Grand Prix I’m satisfied with third overall” said Pillow. “Big congratulations to Natalie, she, like Ben, finished well in every race throughout the season, so she thoroughly deservers it.”

In the OSY400 class it took the officials to count back through all the heat results to work out who had taken the top prize. In the end it went to James Bowman, even though it was Luke Hugman that had one on the day. “It’s been a long season for all those OSY competitors” said Bowman. We’ve been to the Worlds in Poland and the European’s in Nottingham. The international competition is very strong, plus we have had some technical problems along the way. At times it’s been very frustrating, so to win the national championship goes some way to making up for all of that. Next year I’m getting married plus we’re expecting our first child, so my priorities will be else where so I’m not sure whether I will be back to defend the title.” For Hugman it was a tough call. “It all came down to that second heat where I couldn’t get it off the start line” said Hugman. “I tried really hard to close the gap but only made it up to third which just wasn’t enough. I’m not that disappointed because I came here to prove a point and that was just how quick my boat is, two seconds a lap was beyond my wildest dreams.”

Thomas Mantripp knew all he had to do all weekend was to follow in the wake of Ben Jelf if he was to win his first ever GT15 British Championship title and that’s precisely what he did. Throughout the season Mantripp had held the advantage he gained at the Lowestoft Grand Prix and knew exactly how to play a tactical game. “I can’t put it into words” said the young man from the Oulton Broad club. “I just had to keep it the right way up and finish on the podium, sounds easy but with some of the opposition getting faster through the year it certainly wasn’t. I had to keep an eye on Smith because he had got quicker all weekend, he’s been working hard on his set up and it showed. As to whether he will be a threat next ‘Jelf free’ season I’m not so sure.” For Jelf it certainly had been a season of high’s and lows but he was happy with the result. “I wasn’t going to make it easy for him” said Jelf “Fair play to Mantripp if I was in his shoes I would have dome the same, I just hope he looks after my title.”

Third place in the GT15 Championship went to Jessica Beaumont, like Jelf, a perfect way to finish her GT15 career on a high note. “It was all about fighting for third place this season and I couldn’t have asked for more. Mantripp has worked hard for it and he deserves it. As to my future, I’m thinking of taking a year out of powerboat racing to start working with B.S.Motorsport because I really would like to become an motorsport engineer, then perhaps when I’m a little older I might look to race in the F4S Championship.”

Going a long way in making up for loosing his GT15 title to Mantripp was collecting the GT30 one instead, said Ben Jelf, although he wasn’t expecting to win it in his first season. “Three different boats in one year is a really tough way to do things” said Jelf. “We haven’t really had much time to test them either, but I have a great deal of faith in our team, after all they have been doing it a long while now.”

Wayne Turner collected the trophy for the O/Hydro class with local Stewartby club member Nigel Edwards taking second place in the national championship.

In the T850 class Bill Owen finally, after nearly thirty years to trying, won the national championship title. “To say I’m a bit emotional is an understatement” said Owen. “To win it by count back was just incredible, because after the engine dropped to two cylinders in the final heat I thought I had blown my title chances.” He would eventually finish the day in fourth place which meant that once again the race officials had to delve into the records book to come up with a result. That meant that Matt Wood who was victorious on the day would take the runner up spot in the title hunt.
“I never would have thought I’d finish in second place, especially in my first year of trying” said Wood. “I wanted to win here to show that Chasewater wasn’t a fluke and now the season has ended on a fabulous note, not just for me but all the competitors racing in the RYA Powerboat GP British Championship, bring on 2015, I can’t wait.”

Chris Davies - Powerboat GP.

LPRC Drivers claim 3 out of 6 Sprint Championship Trophies as Malcolm Goodman sprints to the F2 title

posted 7 Aug 2013, 08:55 by Lancashire Powerboat

 Malcolm Goodman from Liverpool claims F2 title at Powerboat GP RYA British Sprint
Championships, LPRC 

After the recent spell of roasting hot weather that the UK has been experiencing it was all change for the annual Powerboat GP, RYA British Sprint Championship which took place at the Stewartby Water Sports Club near the traditional English market town of Bedford.  

Overcast skies and a stiff breeze greeted the thirteen Formula Two drivers that were all trying to stop Malcolm Goodman from retaining the title he won some twelve months ago. Despite using his second choice propeller, after the one he used to good effect at the Lowestoft Grand Prix had developed a small crack, Goodman went out and set the fastest time in qualifying.  

In the first of the three heats two restarts were needed after Ian Wright broke down on the racing line, then Graham and Matt Palfreyman had a coming together that resulted in Matt sitting out for the rest of the weekend.  

Goodman went on to win the opening heat followed some six seconds later by Steve Hoult, who in turn had the former three times F2 World Champion Colin Jelf swarming all over his gear case as the pair crossed the finish line.  

Heat two

Heat two proved to be just as close, though this time Colin Jelf did manage to pass Hoult but was unable to stop Goodman from claiming another 400 points.   Meanwhile Owen Jelf, who the weekend before had finished in fifth place at the Italian Grand Prix, was giving his recently purchased BaBa hull its British debut.  

After a wrong propeller choice in the early stages of qualifying then conditions taking a turn for the worse, he was left well down the grid and took a hard fought fifth place. “I’m just too far down the grid to be

competitive at the first turn” he said “the weather caught us out which was a shame because I was really hoping to do well here this weekend.”  

Slender lead at top mark

As the drivers left the start dock for the third and final heat it was Colin Jelf who made the best start rounding the top mark with a slender lead over Goodman. He soon began to pull away and in doing so set the weekends fastest lap time. Then as he was making his way through the right hand chicane his Molgaard slowed and he pulled off the course. “As I was coming through the chicane there was so much vibration I just knew the propeller had shed a blade” said Jelf. “Up until that point I was having a great weekend. It’s been the first time that I’ve managed to get the Optimax to fire and get off the start line cleanly. You have to remember that I’m three years behind some of these drivers in terms of technology, I’ve got a lot to learn and adapt too” he said.  

With Colin Jelf sidelined Goodman now just had to hang on to retain his title, but knew that Hoult and Scott Curtis would be pushing him hard. Try as they might they both knew that closing Goodman down would be a tough ask, plus they both knew that they had done enough in the previous two heats to lay claim to a podium spot.  

With his win Goodman claimed the Jeri Lamba Memorial Trophy. “When I first started racing in the J250 Jeri would always be there to help me out” said Goodman, “so it’s a real honour to be receiving the trophy today. It’s been a tough weekend I think like most of the drivers we are still trying to get to grips with the new Optimax engines, plus running into this wind the DAC can get a bit wild, still its all good practice for Nottingham. Last year everyone warned me about the Nottingham curse and then I got bitten by it, I’m certainly going to make sure that it doesn’t happen this time round.”  

Reward after mechanical issues

Third place went to Scott Curtis, which after all the mechanical issues this season is at least some reward for his perseverance. “I think we’ve now finally sorted out why the Optimax was over heating, but as for any hopes of doing well in the Powerboat GP series I think realistically they have all but gone now, which is a shame. I now have to concentrate on getting the set upright with a view to competing at some of the World Championship rounds next year.”  


Second place went to Steve Hoult, who is using the ex-Laszio Kovacs Molgaard to great effect not only in the Sprint Championship but also in UK’s Powerboat GP series where he’s currently in third place in his first season of racing F2. “Maybe we are just lucky and I’m riding that luck at the moment but our set up seems to be giving me some great acceleration off the dock” said Hoult.

“I’ve never raced with an SST120 engine so I haven’t had to change the way I approach the starts. I’ve come from racing the old style F4 where it’s always been close quarter racing so I’m well used to going into the turns side by side. I damaged a propeller in qualifying so I was forced into using one I’d never raced with, so maybe I am the luckiest guy in the pits.”  

Ian Andrews and Malcolm Goodman are both expected to join Owen Jelf as the three British drivers prepare to take on the foreign challenge at the forthcoming British Grand Prix taking place later this month in Nottingham.  

For more information on Powerboat GP visit: www.powerboatgp.co.uk  

LPRC's Jordon Muckles wins in style

posted 7 Aug 2013, 08:43 by Lancashire Powerboat   [ updated 7 Aug 2013, 08:43 ]

Seventeen year old Jordan Muckles crowned 2013 Powerboat GP RYA GT30 British Sprint Champion

Seventeen year old Jordan Muckles from Sunderland has been crowned 2013 Powerboat GP RYA GT30 British Sprint Champion.  

The weekend of 03-04 August saw the GT30’s come out in force to attend the British Sprint Championships in Bedford and make their challenge for the prestigious GT30 Sprint Championship title.  

Windy conditions

Windy conditions greeted the competitors on the large four buoy course that was set out on the Stewartby Lake and the competitors had to keep their wits about them as the varying wind speeds and unpredictable gusts made every lap, very different.  

Following on from a number of victories already in 2013, Jordan set an early pole position lap of 55.11 followed closely by Natalie Craddock with a time of 55.58 and Jess Stoneman taking the 3rd grid spot with a time of 55.67.  

As the start lights went out on heat one, Jordan wasted no time in putting his foot down and making the turn first, despite both Natalie and Jess putting up a tremendous pursuit. Such was the girls concentration on catching Jordan, they failed to see guest GT30 driver Ben Morse, nip down the inside race line and snatch 2nd position !  

Jordan dominates

The remaining heats saw Jordan continue to dominate the competition with a faultless drive, resulting in a clean sweep of heat wins. Natalie was also soon back on form after a couple of great starts saw her settle into 2nd place overall with Jess 3rd.  

The remaining places in the championship results were taken by Ben Morse, Will Wood and Tom Yallop respectively.  

Commenting on his latest achievement, Jordan said: “ What a fantastic result ! GT30 Sprint Champion, I still cannot believe it. All of the team at TopCat Racing has been working so hard to find the perfect set up for the boat and luckily all of the time and effort has now paid off.  

“I would like to thank all of the sponsors, team, friends & family for the massive support they have given me and now I’m keen to focus on securing the British Championship in September before I leave for Germany to challenge for the GT30 World Championship title.”  

The GT30 British championship challenge continues on the 22 - 23 September at the final round  - the Bedford Grand Prix!  

For more information on Powerboat GP visit www.powerboatgp.co.uk

LPRC Driver Ben Morse wins first ever F4s Sprint Championship

posted 7 Aug 2013, 08:37 by Lancashire Powerboat

 "After my accident in Sweden, winning the sprint title never even crossed my mind" 

comments new champion

Ben Morse (19, Wigan) has won the first ever 2013 Powerboat GP RYA F4s British Sprint Championship   

The weekend of 03 - 04 August saw the new ‘green’ F4s race class attend the British Sprint Championships in Bedford to challenge for the prestigious Sprint Championship title.  

A new class for 2013, F4s is growing in numbers and fans as the standard Mercury 60hp engines power the nippy catamarans and create very close and competitive racing.  

As the weekend kicked off with a 20 min qualifying session, it was Mike Pillow that set the pace with a time of 104.25 and Sam Whittle managed a 106.98 qualifying time. Rob Vears and Ben Morse made up the remaining places on the grid after both having technical issues.  

Heat one saw all of the F4s fleet head towards the first turn on a pretty even pace, when from the end of the grid Ben Morse seemed to power ahead of the formation and took the race lead. Pole man Mike Pillow, had no answer to the phenomenal speed and control shown by Morse in the breezy conditions at the Lake and although keeping the pressure on, was forced to settle for 2nd position.  

Heats two and three saw Ben continue to keep pace, proving that his recent experiences at the World F4s finals in Sweden were having a positive effect on his driving ability. Despite a hard push, Mike settled for 2nd place with real progress from Sam Whittle and Rob Vears being made behind the front-runners.  

The F4s class continues to flourish and all of the signs indicate that it’s going to be big news in 2014 with new boats, new drivers and plenty of enthusiasm.  

Commenting on his win Ben said: “After my accident in Sweden which forced me to use a brand new boat to be ready in time for the weekend, I thought it was a bonus just to get the boat on water. Actually winning the Sprint title never even crossed my mind!

“This win really means a lot to me as my team, family and friends put a lot of hours into getting a new boat ready for me to race. I would like to thank them for everything and also thank my sponsors for making everything possible. I’m really looking forward to finals of the British Championship in September and hopefully keeping the momentum going.”  

The F4s British championship challenge continues on the 22 - 23 September at the final round  - the Bedford Grand Prix!  

For more information on Powerboat GP visit www.powerboatgp.co.uk  


Courtesy of RYA

Three local drivers claim victory in opening round of 2013 British Powerboat GP Championship

posted 8 May 2013, 13:55 by Lancashire Powerboat

On Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May powerboat racers from across the UK arrived at Carr Mill Dam in St Helens to compete in the first round of the 2013 RYA Powerboat GP British Championship. The weather was kind although a blustery cross wind added to the challenge that drivers faced on the day, and the spectacle of the racing for the crowds to see. 


Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club (LPRC) drivers missed out on the top spot in the headline Formula 2 (F2) action, with Owen Jelf from Kent claiming the victory. Although our local powerboat stars did not disappoint with Bill Owen, Ben Morse and Jordan Muckles all claiming their wins in their respective classes.

The F2 action on the water was fierce and the atmosphere was tense with the loud roars heard from the firing of ten 2-litre engines. With ten boats all battling for the top spot it was a phenomenal sight with little room for drivers to maneuver as the specialist racing catamaran boats raced and skipped across the top of the water reaching speeds of up to 120mph,

Added to the mix was a wealth of experienced drivers alongside a host of newcomers to this class of racing. Every driver wanted to get the season off to a flying start and be at the front of the pack at the first turn buoy.

During qualifying, Owen Jelf was the one setting the pace claiming the top spot by completing the course in the fastest time. Although when it came to heat one he lost out to newcomer Steve Hoult, from Newcastle who got an amazing start and grabbed the glory for the very first race of the year closely followed by Owen in second and local driver Paul Balfour, from Wigan who claimed third.

Race two, saw it change at the front with Owen this time getting out in front and holding onto the first position ahead of Steve who had to settle for second and Paul Balfour once again claiming third.

The third and final F2 race of the day on Sunday was full of action, thrills and spills. With collisions a-plenty and all three new drivers to this class involved. A collision in the second lap between new F2 racers Steve Hoult and Scott Curtis, on the right hand turn very near to the rocks caused the race to be stopped, and Scott to retire with a damaged boat. In the re-start there was yet another collision, this time involving Steve as he got caught up with Matt Palfreyman in lap three.

The overall race results saw Owen Jelf in first, Steve Hoult take second and Paul Balfour take the third spot on the podium (photo credit of Owen Jelf above: Anthony Stuchbury)

Malcolm Goodman, from St Helens, the reigning British F2 champion from JPL racing team, did not have luck on his side throughout the weekend. He finished in a disappointing seventh place overall after having to withdraw from the final race before the re-start, due to technical steering problems. Brother’s Matt and Graham Palfreyman finished fourth and sixth respectively, great results for their newly formed Mclaren H2o racing team and Alan Marshall from Macclesfield finished in fifth.

The action packed powerboat weekend did not stop there. With lots more excitement and yet further spectacular racing in other classes.

Local driver Ben Morse, age 19 from Ashton-in-makerfield, Wigan dominated the action in the brand new F4-s class that has reached the UK for the first time this season. These ‘green’ racing outfits are also catamaran tunnel boats in their design, and can be flightly and flip over with the slightest of mistakes. Ben not only set the pace in this class during qualifying he won all three of his races over the weekend. Leaving another LPRC driver and new recruit to JPL Racing Team Mike Pillow to take second and Sam Whittle to settle for third.

Ben said: “I am really pleased to be leading the way in the very first British championship for the F4-s class, this is a new style boat for me, but I am getting to grips with it quickly and the boat is handling really well. I hope that this will be a growing class over the coming months as new competitors join us as the season progresses.”

Top Cat racing team who were also local sponsors of the weekend saw some outstanding driving from their drivers. LPRC driver Jordan Muckles, from Newcastle dominated the GT30 class over the weekend by not only setting the pace in qualifying and taking pole position, he then claimed first place in all three of his heats to take the overall victory in the GT30 class. Second place went to the reigning champion Kevin Hill and third spot went to local driver Natalie Craddock, from Wigan.

Also in the thick of the action was Top Cat’s Jessica Stoneman, age 16 from Kent who battled hard to claim fourth place and showed great resolve. She faced the vast powerboat experience of Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club’s, Will Wood. Jess kept up the pressure on him and her persistence paid off as she came out on top and passed him in two out of the three races, leaving Will in her wake.

T850 monohull class is often a closely fought race with three local drivers Bill Owen from St Helens, Dave James from Warrington and Jason Brewer from Lincoln all competing. This weekend they were up against Mark Williams from Lowestoft and Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club.

Dave James seemed set to win the weekend after setting pole position and winning the first heat with ease, but when it came to the next race it was all change. Bill Owen rose to the challenge, got a great start and nudged in-front to take the lead ahead of Mark Williams who was close behind, leaving Dave in third and Jason in fourth, and this is how it continued to the final chequered flag in heat three.

Winning two heats was enough for Bill Owen to clinch the overall top spot and take first place on the podium, and the vital championship points.

The Junior GT15 class, which sees racers aged between 9 and 16 years old was great to watch with a strong fleet of twelve drivers. The top spot in the race results was dominated by Ben Jelf, the current British Champion 12 year old racer from Kent, and member of Stewartby Water Sports Centre in Bedfordshire. Ben led all three races from the start. Although Thomas Mantripp, from Lowestoft in Suffolk seemed to be making up ground on him and was hot on his heels just waiting for Jelf to make a mistake.

The third place on the podium was secured by Top Cat racing team’s local driver Charlotte Newton from Lowton. Charlotte didn’t always get the best start but she drove her way through the field to claim her third position. JPL racer Jonathan Brewer took fourth, Tiegen Goodfellow from Staffordshire finished seventh ahead Lucy Brewer from Lincoln.

New driver Jack Pickles, who is also a part of Top Cat, finished the day in a respectable ninth position for his very first national race. It all started to come together for Jack in the final GT15 race of the day, as he showed some great driving skill and passed three boats in some great maneuvers.

Tiff Needell, ex-formula one and rally car racing driver, as well as an acclaimed TV presenter joined LPRC Commodore Brenda Goodman to present the awards to the winning drivers. Tiff and the team from Greenlight TV productions are making a series of programmes of 2013 Powerboat GP British Championship to feature on TV sports channels throughout the world – including Sky. Watch out for all the full TV coverage of the action from Carr Mill on over the coming months. We will provide you with information as it becomes available.

Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club Commodore, Brenda Goodman said: “This was the most successful event seen at Carr Mill over many recent years with forty teams taking part there was lots of action for the thousands of spectators who lined the banks of the dam to see. A great spectacle that we must thank all drivers, teams, sponsors and especially our volunteers for all their help and support that made our event such a huge success. LPRC now has three championship leaders in Bill Owen, Ben Morse and Jordan Muckles who are all out in front for each of their classes, we are proud of our local drivers.”

Safety is really important at all powerboat events and with such an action packed weekend, we are pleased to announce that the specially trained rescue officers were on hand and recovered all drivers and their boats safely with no driver injuries from any of the racing incidents.

The racing events held by Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club are free for spectators, the next powerboat racing action to take place at Carr Mill Dam will be on Sunday 19th May, with boats taking to the water at 2pm. You can see and watch the racing from anywhere around the banks of the Dam, or can you join the racers, their mechanics, pit crew and teams in ‘The Boathouse’. On a race day ‘The Boathouse’ bar is open from 12 noon and they are also serving both hot and cold food and snacks.

The next round of the Powerboat GP British Championship will take place at Oulton Broad in Suffolk on 26 and 27 May.

Round 1 British Powerboat GP Championship comes to St Helens Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May

posted 25 Apr 2013, 12:59 by Lancashire Powerboat   [ updated 25 Apr 2013, 14:21 ]

Looking for something to do on Bank Holiday Weekend? …Why not take a trip to Carr Mill Dam in St Helens to watch the fast and furious adrenaline fuelled powerboat racing action.

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May will see powerboat racers from across the UK descend on Carr Mill Dam to compete for the opening round of the RYA British Powerboat GP Championship.

Around forty boats are expected to compete over the weekend in six different classes. Competitors from across the country will take part in the Junior GT15 class with drivers aged between of 8-16, the GT30 class will be on the water with drivers aged 14+ with no upper age limit. There will be T850 monohulls, Formula 4 catamarans, OSY 400 hydroplanes as well as the ‘Big Race’ of the weekend features the Formula 2 catamaran boats. The roar of these 2-litre boats is something you should not miss or take your eyes off, as they reach exhilerating speeds of around 115mph.

Last years race was dominated by action involving local drivers. The race winner, Paul Balfour age 47, from Wigan, will be hoping to once again start the season on the winning foot and fend off the challenges of overall 2012 Champion and other local JPL racing team driver Malcolm Goodman, age 31, from St Helens. Joining them in this class will be Alan Marshall from Stockport and brother’s Matthew and Graham Palfreyman from Aughton, in Ormskirk and Southport.

With a large field of twelve world class racers, all competing for the top spot and aiming to beat Balfour and Goodman to the first turn mark, this fast and furious racing promises to get the adrenaline pumping for both drivers and spectators alike – it is certainly the one to watch.


As well as the big race there will also be action from our young up and coming powerboat racing stars. Twelve junior drivers will be competing in the GT15 class. Local Top Cat racing team’s driver Charlotte Newton, age 15, who lives Lowton in Warrington, will be hoping that racing on home water will give her an early advantage in the championship whilst she battles for vital championship points against reigning British Champion, Ben Jelf from Kent. Charlotte and Ben will face a strong challenge from other drivers Tiegan Goodfellow from Stafford, and Thomas Mantripp who will be making the long journey from Oulton Broad, Suffolk in the South East, as well as brother and sister Jonathan and Lucy Brewer.


 

Meanwhile in the GT30 class Top Cat Racing Driver Jordan Muckles will be focused on getting the best possible start to his campaign to improve his Bronze Medal Championship finish in 2013. Jordan knows he’ll have fierce competition from Natalie Craddock who will be eager to make amends for narrowly missing out on the 2012 title crown.

The Powerboat GP Championship will once again be joined by acclaimed TV presenter Tiff Needell as he and his production team will follow every twist, turn, flip and spill in the championship for the Powerboat GP television series that will once again feature on SkySports. 

On Saturday 4th May a timed practice session will take place from 10am for each class, where the drivers will be fighting for the all-important pole position. In the afternoon, racing is set to start around 2pm and each class will complete at least one race.

The Sunday 5th May will see any further practice start early and racing underway by 11am. The final F2 race is scheduled to take place around 4pm and will be followed by the prize presentation where Tiff Needell will be awarding the trophies to the weekends’ winners.

The event is free for spectators, so everybody is welcome to come along and watch the action. You can see the racing from anywhere around the banks of the Dam, or can you join the racers, their skilled mechanics, pit crew and teams in ‘The Boathouse’ grounds and listen to the live commentary. Our stewards in ‘The Boathouse’ Geoff and Janet will have the bar open as well as serving both hot and cold food and snacks throughout the weekend.

2013 Powerboat GP National Championship - Round 1, Advanced Regulations

posted 16 Apr 2013, 15:19 by Lancashire Powerboat   [ updated 16 Apr 2013, 15:52 ]

The race committee of Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club are delighted to invite UK Powerboat Circuit Racing drivers and teams to Carr Mill Dam for the first round of the 2013 Powerboat GP National Championship on the weekend of 3rd & 4th May 2013. Please click the link below for the advanced regulations. 

Big Surprise for Powerboat Champion, BIll Owen at RYA Powerboat Racing Awards Ceremony

posted 7 Mar 2013, 13:15 by Lancashire Powerboat

On Saturday 4th February, Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club drivers Bill Owen, Malcolm Goodman and Ben Morse collected their prestigious awards at the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) annual powerboat racing awards. On the night there was a huge surprise for Bill Owen from the Last of the Summer Wine racing team, who was left totally speechless when his son Joe made a surprise journey and appearance at the event.

 Joe flew the 10,000 miles from Australia, where he is starting a new career, to see Bill collect his well-earned T850 Powerboat GP National Sprint Title. Joe’s arrival was courtesy of the new Powerboat GP promoter, Jason Brewer. Jason made this fantastic surprise gesture of flying Joe home for the event as a special thank you for the loan of his boat for the 2012 season. After Joe left for pastures new Bill loaned Jason a boat so he could compete throughout the season. Jason jumped at the chance to re-start his powerboat career and get back into the T850 class that he raced almost eighteen years ago. This kind gesture from Bill and Joe, enabled Jason to return to compete once again in the sport that he loves.

Bill said: “It was a privilege to win the T850 Sprint Championship and to collect the award, although when I saw Joe, I can honesty say that Jason Brewer flying him home, was the first time in my life that I was left both speechless and breathless. It was amazing to see him - totally unexpected. It was a fantastic night and a massive, massive surprise.”

Also collecting awards was Malcolm Goodman, pictured laden with his trophies, as he claimed the top prizes in UK powerboat racing. Malcolm made a clean sweep of UK Formula 2 titles winning both the Powerboat GP British Formula 2 title as well as the British Sprint title. He also claimed 2nd in Auronzo Italy in the European Championship, and took part in the prestigious Formula 1, F1H2o series by taking part in the last two races at Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates.

Malcolm said, “I had a challenging season and I am proud of our final achievements. I did not make it easy with hitting turn-buoys, dealing with technical problems with the engine as well as crashing out twice at Nottingham in the world championship I really thought it wasn’t going to be my season. But I have a great team in JPL racing and the whole team pulled together to fix the boat and make sure we were in good shape and well placed to take both British Championships. Many thanks team – I could not have done it without you! After also taking part in the F1H2o series, I am now eager to get back in boat and start the challenge for 2013 titles.”

Ben Morse, age 19 from Ashton-in-makerfield, picked up his new National speed record for class F4-s. Ben set the pace in this new style boat appearing on UK waters, after driving the boat on only a handful of times. 

Ben showed onlookers how it was done, and set a new British record of 68.80mph on the first day of Records week at Coniston in the Lake District. Ben will be racing the new boat in the up and coming racing season, in both the Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club Championship and the National Powerboat GP Championship.

To see Bill, Malcolm and Ben alongside other Lancashire Powerboat Racing drivers take to the water and start the challenge for the 2013 titles, join us at Carr Mill Dam, St Helens on Sunday 7th April for the first club race of the season. 

Boats will take to the water for timed practice, with racing starting at 2pm. The boat house will be open serving food and drink. All welcome. 

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