James Sheppard and Stella Charman in King of Shaves are the new 225hp Honda Formula 4-Stroke champions after winning the final round of the 2004 series during the Southampton Boat Show so retains the 225hp title for the fourth consecutive year.

James Sheppard and Stella Charman in King of Shaves are the new 225hp Honda Formula 4-Stroke champions after winning the final round of the 2004 series during the Southampton Boat Show so retains the 225hp title for the fourth consecutive year.

The King of Shaves team started the race with a 10-point advantage over its nearest rivals, Accucard and Team Raymarine. However Sheppard and Charman put in a remarkable first lap to take the lead, which they then retained in trademark style throughout. “It may have looked easy,” commented Sheppard, ” but I can assure you it wasn’t. We weren’t taking any chances and I was determined to take the lead on the first lap. We then worked to put as much distance as possible between Accucard and ourselves. I’m pleased we did. The last few laps were nerve-wracking as the engine began making ominous noises and I realised the gearbox had gone. I’m just relieved we made it to the chequered flag!

Sheppard went on,”This is my fourth consecutive Honda Formula 4-Stroke title but the novelty hasn’t worn off. It’s my last year in Honda Formula 4-Stroke and I’ve won every championship since joining the series in 2001 so I would have been devastated not to lift the trophy this year. It was extremely hard fought but all the sweeter for it.”

Miles Dobson and Bob Berry in Accucard finished second overall. The all-girl crew of Shelley Jory and Debra France in Team Raymarine finished ninth in the final round but their four-point gain was enough to give them third place in the championship.

We’ve had a terrible race,” said Jory.” The water was rough and these conditions don’t suit us. It’s on days like this that the boys have the edge. Our final results are disappointing but third overall is an impressive achievement in our first 225hp championship year so we’re pleased with that.”

Stella Charman made it four wins out of four when she also took the chequered flag in the 150hp final alongside husband Paul Charman in Alan Day Honda. The 15-point haul was enough for the duo to win the 2004 150hp championship, beating Alan Young and Ian Bull in Alien by just two points.

” It’s more than I ever dreamt of,” said Stella. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet.”

Young and Bull finished second overall. Third place in the 150hp championship went to Adam Ford and Ian Rayment in Mad 4 It after top-three favourites, Peter Kingsbury and Guy Elliott in Alsford Timber, were disqualified in the final race for colliding with Tim Remington and John Milton in Lanz Recycling.
“We started the weekend leading the championship but finished in fifth place,” said Kingsbury. “You can imagine our emotions – we’re not happy at all.”

The thirty race teams that constitute the Honda Formula 4-Stroke championship will meet again at the 2004 Awards Dinner that will be held in January 2005 during the London Boat Show.