The second round of the Honda 4 Stroke series held in London over the weekend of June 8/9 was won on aggregate by James Sheppard and Neil Sinclair driving King of Shaves

The second round of the Honda 4 Stroke series held in London over the weekend of June 8/9 was won on aggregate by James Sheppard and Neil Sinclair driving King of Shaves.

Over 20 craft, mainly in the 130hp sub-division, paraded down river on Saturday from the traditional starting point of the Putney-Calais which launched the sport 40 years ago. The race was then flagged away on reaching the Pool of London.

It was the first time an offshore event of this type had been allowed on the Thames tideway since 1991. With conditions over the 35 miles course to Southend in the estuary relatively calm the fleet was tightly packed with the lead dominated by King of Shaves. Winner of the first round of the series, Peter Moore in Rocela, lay second with EFH Racing driven by Gareth Ebenezer third. It was on reaching Sea Reach below Tilbury however that the trio moved further ahead as if in a race of their own but less than a mile from the Southend finish Rocela altered the pattern by edging passed to take the chequered flag.

Once finished contenders cruised back to St Katharine Docks in London where an elated Peter Moore and Iain McLean were presented with the winners’ trophy by Chas Newens, Master of the ancient Waterman and Lighterman’s Company.

The second heat of the two-day meeting was held over a slightly shorter course starting from Greenwich. This time the race was led from start by King of Shaves but it was Gareth Ebenezer and Phil Haynes in ERF Racing who proved the greatest threat.

After starting at the back of the fleet ERF Racing slowly picked off the competition one by one until it ran bow to bow with the leading King of Shaves. Ebenezer and Hayes were set to collect line honours when their engine suddenly slowed with fuel starvation. King of Shaves shot to victory leaving the frustrated crew of ERF Racing to crawl home in 13th place!

The aggregate result of the two heats leaves the overall lead firmly in the hands of James Sheppard and Neil Sinclair who now have a total score of 51 championship points with three round remaining.

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” commented and elated Sheppard on the podium. “With three consecutive second places so far this season we were starting to believe that first place was eluding us. We knew we’d need an overall result today to give us a better chance at retaining the title we won last year. It leaves us at the top of the table which is where we intend to stay.