New Belgian team joins Powerboat P1

Will use 2009 season as warm-up for serious title challenge next year

Pierre Colpin and Frank Hemelaer will work together in a new Belgian Evolution-class team in 2009.Centaurian Yachtscrew members, Pierre Colpin and Frank Hemelaer, have formed a new Belgian-based Evolution-class team to contest the 2009 Powerboat P1 championship. The pair finished eighth on points in the Evolution class in 2008 alongside Nico Huybens aboard the Mercury-poweredOuterlimits.

Colpin and Hemelaer have already secured a Fountain 42 hull, similar to the one used by the double Evolution title-winning Fountain Worldwide team but with Mercury engines rather than Ilmor power in the new boat.

The team are currently planning to contest selected events, but are confident they can step up to a full title campaign once they attract a title sponsor.

“It was only yesterday that we decided to join the Powerboat P1 season, so everything is just starting to come together,” said Colpin. “It’s too early yet to define which races we’ll actually compete in. Two are already scheduled but to participate in every race will require a main sponsor.

“Although we want to focus on Powerboat P1 we are also considering the European or the Italian championship series. We definitely want to attend the Belgian Offshore Challenge at Zeebrugge in September. Our main focus however is on 2010 when we will race in every Grand Prix of the Sea. Meanwhile we see 2009 as the year to extend our experience and level of competence.”