The two-day Honda British Grand Prix at Plymouth on July 17-18 was an event packed with incident ranging from a school of porpoises upsetting the programme to varying visibility and a pace that decimated the fleet.

TAGS:

The two-day Honda British Grand Prix at Plymouth on July 17-18 was an event packed with incident ranging from a school of porpoises upsetting the programme to varying visibility and a pace that decimated the fleet.

Top British favourite and five-time world champion, Steve Curtis, driving alongside Norwegian Bjorn Gjelsten aboard Spirit of Norway was forced out with gearbox trouble early on. It was a disappointment for the home side and a departure from the recent run of success achieved by these defending world champions. We’re flabbergasted, “said Curtis. It’s cost us our lead on the points table but we’re confident we can make this up during the next round in Norway”.

By now the Dubai entered Victory 7 Ali Al Qama and Ali Nasser had consolidated the overall lead.

Meanwhile, and against all predictions, local promoter Chris Parsonage driving Negotiator had moved up to third past the slowing Spirit of Norway to chase the Arab leader. But three laps later he was another to pull out: this time with failed trim-tab.

“I’m naturally disappointed,” said Parsonage. “But I’m overjoyed with the performance of Negotiator and certain she will become a serious contender.

Bernhard Bellmann from Germany and Norwegian Jann Hillestad in Jotun moved up to fill the gap with Hassan Al-Thani and Matteo Nicolini aboard Qatar third.

By then the pace had decimated the fleet leaving only six contenders still racing at the chequered flag.

The Honda Grand Prix also included the seventh and eighth rounds of the Honda Formula 4-Stroke championships.

Adam Ford and James Bill in Mad 4 It used their home waters to full advantage when they claimed their first Honda Formula 4-Stroke 150hp win in two seasons of competition. The duo, from Totnes and Torquay respectively, stood on top of the podium alongside Exmouth-based newcomers Tony Crossley and Mark Glanville in No Payne No Gain who recorded another personal best by finishing third. Completing the podium line-up were Peter Kingsbury and Steven McCulley, extending their championship lead in Alsford Timber.

In the eighteen-strong 150hp race, rookie brothers Clive and Tim Coote in ‘Pole Position’ stormed into the lead on the green flag and hung onto it for five laps, battling hard against husband and wife team Paul and Stella Charman in ‘Alan Day Honda’. However, ‘Alan Day Honda’ took the advantage on the last lap and took the chequered flag, followed closely by ‘Pole Position’ with John Milton and Tim Remington in Lanz Recycling in third.

After the first 225hp race was curtailed due to porpoises playing on the course, James Sheppard and Neil Sinclair in King of Shaves collected their fourth consecutive Honda Formula 4-Stroke title. They gave a flawless performance that saw them on top of the podium for the fourth time this year. “We’re always out to win,” commented Sheppard, “but this was especially important to us. Neil and I have competed together for four years but unfortunately will not be attending the last two rounds of the season so today was the last time we’ll race together. With all the wins we’ve clocked up over the years it would have been really disappointing to go out with anything less than first place. We took the lead at the start and held it all the way to the chequered flag, which is the way we like to do things! It was a great race.”