Rough sea conditions at Swansea on June 27 took its toll in the fifth round of the Honda Formula 4-Stoke championship series.
Rough sea conditions at Swansea on June 27 took its toll in the fifth round of the Honda Formula 4-Stoke championship series. The 50th race since the championship became a reality four years ago, the opening events of the two-day meeting had to be cancelled when forecast predicted SSE winds gusting force seven and above. It was a decision that left everything hanging on Sunday’s race but only if conditions improved.
Fortunately winds veered to SW but were still strong enough to force officials to shorten the courses of both 150hp and 225hp heats by 30 per cent. The outcome produced a complete change in the points standings although Alan Young and Ian Bull aboard Alien still managed to achieve their third consecutive victory despite a punishing contest where several boats retired with damage.
By contrast the 225hp result went to newcomers Gavin Parsonage and Nathan Libby in Negotiator after the two leaders, Rob Lister in BAR and Miles Dobson’s Accucard, were penalised a lap for missing a course marker. Second place in 225hp went to Mel Streek and Martin Marsh in ‘Claygate’. This duo were also newcomers to the podium in a contest that thoroughly shook up the 225hp championship positions
All-Welsh team Martin Sanders – General Manager Honda Power Products – and Gareth Ebenezer finished third in their inaugural 225hp race at their home Grand Prix in Swansea.
“It was quite an experience,” commented Sanders. “The last time I raced a Honda Formula 4-Stroke boat was at the first ever 225hp round in Cardiff in 2001. There were just three boats in that race. It was also flat calm so it was a different experience today lining up against eight contenders in rough weather. It was a tough and took perseverance but it was worth the effort to be standing on the podium, flying the Welsh flag in home territory.”
For Gavin Parsonage and Nathan Libby it was their first podium position in only their fifth powerboat race.
“We’re thrilled,” commented Parsonage. “It was the first time we’ve competed in our own boat as we’ve been borrowing another while Negotiator was being built so this bodes well for the rest of the season! We fortunately fuelled up completely and the extra weight gave us an advantage in the rough. There were some hairy moments when my shoulder dipped in the water but it was a great race and an even better result.”
Dave Walker and Chris Hebditch in Avangard Marine got their first podium finish in second place with Paul and Stella Charman in Alan Day Honda finishing third out of seventeen starters. The 150hp race boat Accucard did not have such a successful weekend, sinking after colliding with one of its rivals.
Championship positions after five rounds:
150hp Class. P.Kingsbury (Alsford Timber) 46pts A. Young (Alien) 45pts V.Hunt (Extreme Chaos) 39pts A.Ford (Mad 4 It) 39pts P.Charman (Alan Day Honda) 37pts T.Remmington (Lanz Recycling) 36pts
225hp Class. S.Jory (Team Raymarine) 53pts M.Dobson (Accucard) 50pts J.Sheppard (King of Shaves) 45pts J.Glendinning (Warmup) 45pts G.Parsonage (Negotiator) 40pts M.Streek (Claygate.Co.Uk) 34pts