The culmination of a seven-month season saw everything that is good in the ThunderCat Racing community celebrated at the annual awards evening held at the Potters Heron Hotel, Ampfield, in Hampshire on Saturday 18th February 2017. Over £5,000 was raised in the evening for the TRUE FOUNDATION which allows the charity commission to officially accept its application for charity status.
A whole host of awards were given out including championship awards, newcomer’s award, local community and special awards. Here is a list of the winners and an overview of why they were so deserving of their awards:
THUNDERCAT RACING UK CHAMPIONSHIP OVERALL WINNING TEAM
Trophy Donated by Jon Buckler – Pro Marine
Team 22 – Microlink-Ahmad Tea
Rob Davies and Darren Phillips from Wales crowned the 2016 Microlink ThunderCat Racing UK Champions. In only their second year of racing, the determined team faced stiff competition from Multispark Racing all season. Going into the final round, the duo held a slender 2 point lead over their close rivals. Gary Tolman and Scott Brown pushed Multispark Racing to the limit and beyond in pursuit of points. The title went to the last day of the championship round at Watergate Bay where MICROLINK – AHMAD TEA won the needed points to gain the championship.
THUNDERCAT RACING UK CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNERS UP -2ND PLACE
TEAM 61 MULTISPARK RACING – Gary Tolman & Scott Brown
Gary from a child always wanted to powerboat race, in 2014 teamed up with his Uncle Dave to compete in ThunderCat Racing UK! Since 2015 Gary has taken the reins of the boat and enjoyed has enjoyed two successful seasons.
Scott has adapted quickly from being team crew on land during 2014 into co-driver by 2015. Scott has also assisted other teams during the season when possible jumping in to keep teams racing. Scott was placed 9th in the Co-Driver Championship league table, which is fabulous for his first season but topped that this year by moving up the league table to 2nd!
THUNDERCAT RACING UK CHAMPIONSHIP – 3RD PLACE
TEAM 26 SEAVACTION – Simon Matthews & Martin Jerome
Simon is born and breed in Southsea. He had been in and on the water before he was at the age of one. By the time he was 8 he was sailing as part of the National Squad. His sailing career peaked in 2003 when he was part of the Olympic development squad for the Sydney Olympics. This was his turning point to powerboat racing. He bought a Gemini and started racing. He is a helmsman for the RNLI and has been doing this for 14 yrs based out of Portsmouth lifeboat station. He was awarded the Queens Jubilee Medal for his services to RNLI. He is also a Sail maker and the owner of Sail Style Sailmakers based in Hayling Island.
Martin is obsessed with anything powered with an engine. Previously he was a missile engineer for the MoD, presently he works as a Service Administrator for R.K. Marine Ltd. Martin has Type 1 diabetes but it has never stopped him doing anything he sets his heart on.
After a colourful two years in ThunderCat Racing it is excellent to see these charismatic characters come third in the championship and look forward to seeing what happens in 2017!
OVERALL DRIVER CHAMPION AWARD – Rob Davies
Rob is a highly motivated and competitive, competed competitively in motocross and rallying to name but a few Motorsports. He is also a Coxswain for Burry Port Lifeboats, D Class Rig and Atlantic Rig so he is totally at home on the water. He decided to start the 2015 season racing in an Aquarius hull which proved to be very successful. During the season Rob was consistently seen on the podium and definitely proved to be a rookie driver to watch out for! 2016 the lucky welsh dragon continued to bring good fortune with Rob becoming the top driver in the championship.
OVERALL CO-DRIVER CHAMPION AWARD – Darren Phillips
Darren another self-confessed adrenaline junkie. Competing in his first season of ThunderCat Racing during 2015 with no previous boating experience. He had competed to a high level in motocross winning accolades to show for it. Darren is highly accomplished in martial arts. His highly motivated attitude towards competitive sport and his love for speed is exactly what Team Hoonigan were looking for in a co-driver – 2016 has been some exciting and competitive racing and brilliant Co-Driver skills.
“Where SPEED Begins” AWARD – TEAM 22 - MICROLINK – AHMAD TEA
Donated by Dave Harwood – Stainless Steel Developments – to the overall winning team.
ROOKIE DRIVER OF THE YEAR AWARD – Josh Broadbent – from Team 54 – Student Loan
New to the scene in 2016, Josh has accrued the top points of the season within the series but also as a team they have just been awarded the 'Best Newcomers to Offshore Racing' and a trophy for 'Most Successful Powerboat Racing Team in their First Season'
Rookie CO-DRIVER OF THE YEAR AWARD - James Ion - from Team 7 – Evolution 5 – Moku Racing
James clearly deserves this award, not only has he the most points as a Co-Driver but also survived being in the boat with Darryn Harrison who drives right handed making it difficult to the best to stay in the boat!
JASPER TROPHY – Team 54 Student Loan – Josh Broadbent & Seb Watts
Big journey’s start with small steps is the trophy dedicated by Tom and Alisha Montgomery- Swan for Newcomers to the sport.
CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE AWARD - TEAM Endeavour Racing
Team Endeavour’s professionalism and interaction with the community has given inspiration and shown us all how to appreciate and be positive within our lives.
OUTSTANDING VENUE AWARD – Rebecca Flowers on behalf of the Clevedon Sailing Club and Clevedon Town.
Voted as the top venue of the year, for their exceptionally warm welcome from the community, spectators, Sailing Club and venue hosts. ThunderCat Racing are looking forward to returning to Clevedon and enjoying working with the Sailing Club who host an excellent party as well as seeing the large crowds along the promenade.
TOP SPONSOR – Vee Ganjavian, Microlink PC Limited
12 years of continual support, dedication and funding from Microlink and Vee. An unprecedented commitment to the sport. Vee has always been there with a watchful eye to make sure the community and racing are on track. With the launch of the new TRUE FOUNDATION charity we hope to show Vee and Microlink how their investment has paid off, assisting in education, recovery through sport and the community by reaching to help those with mental and physical disabilities through a proactive unconditional regard.
OUTSTANDING PARTNER TO THE SPORT – Mike Kenny from Nationwide Vehicle Assistance
You will find Mike on the beach with the Quad towing our safety vessel around the country. He also assists by sponsoring our safety vessels. Anything to do with logistics, then Mike is always on hand to advise. Our friendly giant, quiet and reserved is always stood in the background giving firm foundations and commitment to ThunderCat Racing.
DEDICATION TO THE SPORT - Grant Harrison
Grant is a dynamic and enthusiastic individual with a desire to achieve greatly. He is a very approachable and displayed great interpersonal skills. He has a real passion for powerboat racing, which clearly is demonstrated when talking about.
FLIP OF THE SEASON AWARD – Team 51 RACING –Simon Harding & Edd Redman
What can you say about this – New boat – Experienced team and clearly they need bigger buoys next year!
OUTSTANDING MEDIA CONTRIBUTION AWARD – Steve Wallace from Media 10
Steve, known to all and truly a multi-media specialist and jack of all trades. Always positive, a smile on his face from Scrutineer to camera-man; Steve has helped raise the profile of the sport over the years.
X-STREAM MEDIA AWARD - Lewis Huddy & Steve Putt from Team 87 – Pro Marine
Lewis and Steve with their drone edited footage that hit social media with a video that reached in excess of 7 million views of racing at Watergate Bay! As new comers to the sport in 2016 we look forward to seeing the impact as a team they will bring on and off the water!
KING OF THE SURF TEAM – MULTISPARK RACING 61 – GARY TOLMAN, SCOTT BROWN & JAMES TAPP.
This trophy was awarded to the team who accrued the top points over the 3 surf events in 2016 – Bournemouth, Fistral & Watergate.
SIREN OF THE SEA AWARD – Kersey Segger
The force of the Watergate Bay surf never fazed Kersey, side by side she battled like a warrior against the men! A true Siren of the sea and honoured for her outstanding racing.
ECOLOGICALLY FRIENDLY AWARD – Clive Richardson
Known to most as ‘Snowy’, Clive has been involved with the sport from the beginning, not only assisting us with being our Health and Safety Coordinator but also as an avid photographer. Clive keeps us on our toes making sure we are as ECO-FRIENDLY as possible
CATERING AWARD – Carol Richardson
Carol, clearly wife of Clive has been an avid supporter over the years and in 2016 offered to take on the role as ‘Catering’ keeping those bacon butties and beverages flowing when all the officials and teams come off the water – clearly a very important role within the community!
PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR AWARD – Don Hodgson
Don, from ‘Team Endeavour Racing’ has been supporting both the Endeavour crew as well as ThunderCat Racing this year, he is also well-known within Powerboat P1 too. Don since leaving the armed forces has concentrated on developing his photography skills that can be seen with his action packed photography.