GOOD SHOW FOR POWERBOAT P1 TEAMS IN KEY WEST Poised for the biggest British invasion of U.S. shores since The Beatles, Powerboat P1's Team 26 / SW1 CAPITAL saw its hopes of an American World Championship dashed by the same demon that plagued...
GOOD SHOW FOR POWERBOAT P1 TEAMS IN KEY WEST
Poised for the biggest British invasion of U.S. shores since The Beatles, Powerboat P1's Team 26 / SW1 CAPITAL saw its hopes of an American World Championship dashed by the same demon that plagued the English lads all season: speed.
Daniel Cramphorn, Kim Collins and entourage arrived in Key West, Florida hoping for good solid competition SW1 Capital Team and to give the Americans a run for their money. But after taking a thrilling checkered flag in the first day of racing -- finishing three seconds in front of Powerboat P1 radio commentator Martin Sanborn and race partner Dan Davies -- the Brits suffered water pressure and engine cooling setbacks that they can only attribute to a combination of running at greater speeds with additional weight in the boat.
Arriving in Key West expecting to run in a 95 mph class similar to Powerboat P1's SuperSport, a lack of boats and a desire to compete moved them into Production 2, a 105 mph race group. After a thrilling deck-to-deck finish on November 11, giving them their fifth consecutive win and first U.S. checkered flag, Team 26 was informed that their engine configuration would require them to carry more weight or move into a 115 mph class. Opting for the additional weight and a shot at the title, the boys from Britain started strong in the second round on Friday, November 13, but the unlucky date may have jinxed their chances, as mid-way through the competition they began experiencing engine cooling issues and were forced to leave the field. After spending Friday and Saturday working on the engines, a U.S. World Championship was still within their grasp.
When the green flag dropped on Sunday, Team 26 / SW1 Capital barely got on plane before a split a sea strainer ended their day, a gremlin that throttleman Kim Collins attributes to both the addition weight and higher speeds. "We really didn't have time to test properly," a dejected Collins said, adding, "It is very different organizationally in the States. In P1, when we practice and test we do it on the actual race course, which was not the case here." Because Key West is an active and busy port, race officials are forced to "remove" the course on non-race days, and teams are left to run their practice rounds in open water with other boat traffic about. Collins did concede that the experience was "good fun, and certainly something worth doing."
Team boss Daniel Cramphorn said that while disappointed with the outcome, "We were certainly competitive on Wednesday. We were expecting to run in a much faster class, and we don't understand exactly why we were made to add weight, but we struggled with the set up and just didn't have enough time." And despite the disappointing circumstances, Cramphorn was happy he made the trip "across The Pond" to race the fabled waters just 90-miles from Cuba. "Wednesday was a great day. It was certainly the closest, fastest most fun racing we've ever had. Key West is beautiful, the people are wonderful and the racers were both encouraging and very helpful when we were having our problems. Our main competitors, Martin Sanborn and Dan Davies couldn't do more to help us get ready for the races," he said.
Sanborn and Davies, racing in the GLOBAL WARMER Fountain, won handily on Friday and Global Warmer FOUNTAIN Sunday to take the Production 2 World Championship. Sanborn, who is no stranger to championship titles, has not raced regularly in more than a decade.
Also no stranger to championships, Nigel Hook and his new race partner Michael Silfverberg of Sweden Nigel Hook and Michael Silfverberg ran the LUCAS OIL Skater to a third place overall podium finish in the Production 1 class, making a good start in their first racing experience together. Hook describes Silfverberg as "a natural," while the Swede - who has a varied and storied career on the water but no boat racing experience proclaimed "I love racing and it's great racing with Nigel!" The team used Key West to gain some "seat time" as the duo has announced 2010 Powerboat P1 plans to race together in a new Ocke Mannerfelt Vector 40 which was on display at the race. The wing design will be modified to comply to P1 rules, but the boat made an impressive appearance in the Lucas Oil pits and builder Rex Jardine was on hand to answer questions about the boat.
The Outerlimits team of Joe Sgro, Mike Fiore and Jeff Harris brought the sleek looking new SV43 to the race but found the short time in which they had to build the new boat and engines was not sufficient for race preparation. outerlimits The team tried to race each day but was beset by a series of mechanical problems. When asked if they had gotten all the "bugs" out of the system, Sgro jokingly replied, "We were infested!"
Other P1 racers and fans made the trip to Key West to enjoy the Florida sunshine and racing action. Martin Lai and a crew of friends, Miles Jennings and lovely friend Lu, and Sigi Greve and Mark Niemann were all taken by the enthusiastic crowds and the festive atmosphere of Key West. Said Greve, "Key West is the perfect location-the weather the 'Florida feeling,' and the people are so welcoming. I like the way the racing is close-in. It makes me shudder. You can feel the noise as the boats go by right in front of you. Everyone who is a race fan needs to come and see this!"