Results table given a shaking too
It was all change in the 2008 Round Britain Race today(Saturday). Rough conditions in the Firth of Forth at the start of the sixth leg to Newcastle took its toll, completely upsetting the result table. While the elapsed time leader at Edinburgh lost out, Blue FPT, the Greek entered Fiat Powertrain Rib of Vassilis Pateras, Panos Tsikopoulos and British navigator Dag Pike reaped the benefit. Now Blue FPT not only lead the MC1 class they also head the fleet on overall elapsed time.
It was problems suffered by the Norwegian entered Lionhead; the Max Diesel powered Goldfish Rib driven by Pal Sollie, that changed the pattern. Setting off in contention she suddenly slowed when one of its sterndrive legs failed ten miles after the start. Although the on-board mechanic managed to make repairs, the stoppage erased their elapsed time lead.
“It was a great disappointment,” said navigator James Sydenham. “Instead of an eleven minute lead we’re now 60 minutes behind but with over 500 miles to go we will do our best to catch up.”
Once again Wettpunkt.com, entered by Austrian Hannes Hannes Bohinc, was first to finish a leg for the third consecutive time. He covered the 132 statute mile course between Edinburgh and Newcastle in 1hr 29min 32secs representing an impressive average of 88mph but it was not without problems.
The last few miles were covered with diesel leaking from the fuel tank.
“It wasn’t much fun,” said Ed Williams-Hawk, navigator aboard Wettpunkt.com. “It flooded the floor making difficult to keep to our feet but finishing some ten miles ahead of the rest was just reward for our problems.”
Second slot was filled by Andy Macateer aboard Venturer, another Buzzi Rib. He came home nine minutes astern of the Austrian and stays ahead on the RB1 class. It was another four minutes before Blue FPT arrived to find it had secured to elapsed time lead, an elated result for the Greek team and Fiat Powertrain in particular.
Although much of the course offered moderate conditions, the opening miles down the Firth of Forth suffered a strong head wind and a punishing seas. It damaged several craft forcing some to return to their Edinburgh base.
The team of Watford based taxi drivers aboard The Bandit disappeared in a cloud of spray when it stuffed into a wave. The impact caused some damage and the crew to turn back. Another was the Norwegian Goldfish Rib Gutta Boyz driven by father and son Nick and Ivar Tollefesen that won the third leg to Bangor NI. She also turned back.
The ongoing hero of the event is Gee, the 42 year old restored racer that took part in the first Round Britain in 1969. She retired at Inverness in ’69 but age seems to count. Although she was forced to slow when crew member Mike Clark strained his back, she still managed to finish at Newcastle in 30th position maintaining her first place in her class.