The welcome return of the historical, locally built Albatross craft to the Bank Holiday Monday LOBMBC event was a real crowd pleaser as visiting drivers travelled from far and wide to race their classic boats, once seen weekly in the past. Bouncing over the surface of Oulton Broad and making water conditions "lumpy" there were, no doubt, a few bruised drivers at the end of the afternoon.
Despite a few mechanical problems taking their toll, excellent racing ensued and resulted in Z17 Mike Riley receiving the much coveted Albatross Marine & Archie Peace Memorial Trophies following a clean sweep of first places.
Sportsboats was an all catamaran class with the lone Formula 4 of Brian Block fighting off what must have been the best Formula 2 challenge of 2018 as four boats including visiting driver Ian Blacker had spectators gasping at the buoy turn skills. As Blacker gained confidence, having never driven the circuit before, he collided with the wherry Buoy and carried it away from it's moorings, stopping the race and leading to a re run of the heat. A photographers dream, it is hoped it's hoped that the season finale in September will produce the same spectacle.
Brian Block was awarded the Jack Wilson F4 Trophy with Ley Plant driver Tom Roberts receiving the LOBMBC Catamaran Trophy.
GT Monohull racing welcomed yet another club trained contender as local youngster Jack Barker joined the highly competitive field of more experienced drivers and honed his driving skills in the full racing environment, completing all three heats competently. Visiting driver Jamie Atlee showed good form in a light, fast boat but was held in third place by the improving Thomas Lacey-Goodman, determined as ever, the Aline Jordan Trophy went to rising star Jessica Haylock who had pipped brother Joseph to the post and accumulated enough points to be named as Club 2018 GT Class Champion.
Hydroplanes had an afternoon of competitive fun as only they can, with many races within the overall race, keeping spectators fully entertained, teams on their toes and timing officials busy. It was good to see Max Roberts making an end of season appearance, Brad Holman trying out the Sentinel Autocare boat for size, Wayne Moyse and Daniel Drake prior to their racing debuts in the USA, Sean Woods with increased performance and club stalwart Jason Mantripp as they raced towards the end of a memorable OSY400 Season.
Special mention goes to the only lady hydroplane driver, Karon Jude, who achieved a stunning fist place in the third heat, finally sharing overall second place with Holman, leaving the relative newcomer to the class but very much not the sport, Brian Shulver, to take first place and the Hubert Palfrey Trophy, having achieved a highly successful late career move to OSY400 racing.
The 2018 season at Oulton Broad concludes Sunday, 9th September, 12.00 Noon
Jessica Haylock winner of the Aline Jordan Trophy and Club GT Class Champion of 2018