All was set at the LOBMBC Thursday's event for the debuts of three new drivers, two from the club's training program and one changing from the predomimently "junior" class to the cut and thrust of the UK's top Hydroplane racing. An evening of thrills, spills, ups and downs followed....
The GT class started the proceedings with new recruit Jason Sellick in the only GT30 with the experienced Haylock duo, Thomas Lacey-Goodman and Edward Jay showing him how to do it competitively and safely. His smiles said it all as he received his RYA documentation having competed successfully and hopefully the club has another driver to add to the fold. Unusually this week, Jessica and Joseph shared second position with 41 Edward Jay receiving the Servowarm Trophy.
Mixed class Sportsboats welcomed the weekly appearance of the F2 of Ray Birnie, complete with relacement engine and gearbox following a costly previous weekend's racing, only to to see him limp back to the jetty during practice to run in his gearbox, as the engine sustained a major failure !
When racing commenced, the field was joined by another of the "acadamy" drivers, Richard Gibbs, who had previously been part of the club diving/rescue team but unfortunately he was to be a recipiant of their attention as his monohull chined violenly, turned over and sank, (images forwarded) necesitating a re run of the heat. Down to just three boats, Peter Rix had to settle for third place as the Redex Perpetual Trophy was jointly awarded to Brian Block and Paul Yallop.
A stunning field of thirteen Hydroplanes were competing for the prestigeous Earl Howe Group Handicap Trophy and prior to practice, UK GT30 Champion Thomas Mantripp was given the chance of three solo laps for the first time in his 125cc Hydroplane on the smooth surface of Oulton Broad, much to the delight of enthusiasts and family alike.
During the course of the first heat the Sentinel Autocare OSY400 of David Smith came to a halt in front of the clubhouse having broken his prop shaft, losing his no1 propeller followed by an incident for Thomas Mantripp as his hull having failed, took water onboard and the pressure split the boat open, spinning the boat and requiring rapid response from rescue to prevent sinking and once more stopping another heat.
Yet again, the second heat came to an unexpected end as Scott Builders Karon Jude and David Smith, with another propeller, locked together at the Wherry buoy. Gentlemans Club's Nigel Stopforth took third place with the Moyse Motors OSY400 of Wayne Moyse second and Wayne Turner added his name to the many winners of this trophy from years gone by, receiving the good wishes of the club prior to his long journey to Estonia to compete in the World 250 Series racing.
The intensity of the racing in this class has to be the highlight of the 2018 season.
Regretably failing light and the unforseen stoppages prevented the running of three heats for all the classes and brought the meeting to a halt.