Powerboat racing returns to Folkestone Harbour
Thursday, August 18th, 2011
Folkestone Grand Prix 13-14 August 2011
Powerboat racing competitors returned to Folkestone last weekend for the first time in twenty years for the British National Powerboat Championships as part of the drive to rebuild the excitement of the Folkestone seafront.
The races provided the opportunity for nearly 60 competitors to showcase their skills to the watching crowds. The amalgam of Thundercat racing with Offshore classes in Folkestone offered diversity of size and style thereby satisfying excitement and curiosity levels for all those watching.
Despite a last minute course relocation due to rough seas and high winds, the white cliffs offered enough protection for racing, but the first day’s sea was steep and awkward.
The weekend’s racing in Kent acted as a precursor to the upcoming World 3B Championship being held in Torquay between the 1st and 4th September.
The OCR Phantom 19 boat of Dan Priestly and Sam Brewster won in spectacular style whilst Sharon Atlee, in the ‘Pirates Cave’ Tintorera revelled in the conditions and led Offshore B class from the start, holding off Neil Ives in his Barracuda 18.
Graham Reeder drove his ex-World Championship winning 3C Mannerfelt ‘Ananab’ into first place after NWJ racing was time-penalised for missing a mark.
The second days calmer, but not benign seas, allowed the spectators to be thrilled by the V8 roar of Mark Brewster’s leading V24, echoing off the Harbour wall at 70mph.
Brian Peedell led the Offshore Class 3C, hotly pursued by Jeremy Gibson’s OCR Phantom. The all girl team of Sharon Atlee and Sian Williams in ‘Pirates Cave’ delivered a rough water driving lesson to the rest of the 3B fleet, with the Norwegian designed monohull making light of the testing conditions.