Tributes for racer who lost his life during powerboat championship finals

Following
the tragic death of P1 Powerboat racer Mike Lovell, who lost his life whilst
competing in the finals of the
National Powerboat Racing Championship in Weymouth Bay, tributes have been
pouring in from across the marine world.




As well
as a highly successful racer, Mike was described as a talented mechanic, always
keen to learn and develop.


Mike Lovell suffered
multiple injuries when his boat, Peters & May, crashed in the P1 250 Superstock race on Sunday. Mike’s team-mate, Dan Whapples has
undergone surgery today at Southampton General Hospital, where he is reported
to be in a stable condition.




Portland Coastguard
rescued the racers from the water, near Weymouth Town Beach and the harbour.
Lovell was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital, however, it was announced
that Mr Lovell had sadly died overnight.




Former powerboat
world champion, Shelley Jory-Leigh, was commentating at the event and saw what
happened. “Unfortunately the boat just got caught up in the wash of the
other boats – that’s what happens with powerboat racing – and it barrel-rolled.
The drivers got thrown clear of the boat. It’s like a Formula 1 car spinning
off.”




Ms Jory-Leigh said
the safety teams were “absolutely amazing” with rescue divers
deployed within 30 seconds of the accident.




Lovell and Whapples
had enjoyed a successful season with a second place at the P1 Plymouth event
and a third place in the Cowes-Poole endurance race.


Organisers of the P1
SuperStock UK Championship cancelled the Weymouth race and a report has been
made to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.