All the action from Round's One and Two
Rounds One and Two of the 2015 RYA P750 ThunderCat British Championship were held at Boscombe Beach in Dorset over the weekend of the 18 - 19 April.
The event attracted an impressive 20 boat field and a title sponsor, Multispark, a Poole based company who specialise in electrical discharge machining and whose Managing Director, Dave Sheldon is a keen competitor of the series.
With the teams and backing in place, the weather gave the racers sunshine, clear blue skies and choppy conditions - perfect ThunderCat Racing conditions!
The 2014 RYA British Champion, Bligh Julius, was a hot favourite going into the season having purchased a brand new Aquarius inflatable hull for the 2015 campaign, although with three times ThunderCat champion James Tapp, back from a year's sabbatical with co-driver Ed Redman, Julius wasn't going to have it all his own way.
Round 1 - Multispark Grand Prix Boscombe
The racing on Saturday was difficult due to the swirling winds and sea swell, by the time of the final heat, both Julius and Will Gawn driving Team 33 and Tapp in Microlink / Ahmad Tea had both won their three heats.
Microlink / Ahmad Tea started like a rocket, leaving Team 33 in their wake and led for the first couple of laps until they turned over, causing a red flag and a re-start.
Once racing commenced, newcomers to the sport Rob Davies and Darren Phillips – Hoonigan / Ahmad Tea surprised everyone with a stellar performance, outpacing Team 33 and those points were enough to ensure the rookies a Round One second place overall. Julius' second placing in the final ensured him the overall victory on the day.
The Haggis Hunters, not surprisingly from Scotland, David and Ashleigh Finlayson, capped off their day with a very worthy third place on the podium.
Amber Sexton racing with Phil Hillier in her first ever ThunderCat race took 4th overall in Kingfisher Fire & Security.
She said afterwards: “I was apprehensive with the big water we experienced today, and fourth is a great result for the team, particularly as I was meant to be racing with Andy Cousins, who sadly had a family bereavement”.
It was then time to celebrate the winners on the beach podium presentation where the prizes were awarded by Formula Renault 3.5 Series racing driver Dean Stoneman.
Sunday dawned with glorious sun shine, the winds of Saturday had dropped, leaving a residual swell for the competitors to contend with.
Once the four heats were raced, James Tapp / Ed Redman - Microlink / Ahmad Tea had a 100% win rate, with Bligh Julius taking three wins and a second.
Come the final and Tapp was not up to repeating the error of Round One, he positively scorched around the M - Shape circuit completing an excellent day in his inflatable office. Bligh Julius drove Team 33 to second overall and left the event knowing he leads the British Championship after the opening two rounds by seven points.
Former ZapCat racers, Steve Pidsley and Jason Ellis - Who The Hell / Team Moku Racing, experienced a torrid Round One, which they made up for with an impressive third overall on the Sunday.
The ThunderCat Racing circus now moves on to Cornwall for Rounds Three and Four at Watergate Bay and Rounds Five and Six at Fistral Beach, both to be held in May.
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