On the Richard Carr Powerboat Racing blog this week I want to report on Amersham duo Nick Williams and navigator Martin Robinson who won the UK SuperStock crown despite experiencing hair raising sea conditions.
They went into the last day of racing in Bournemouth with very turbulent conditions to cope with. Nick Williams said after the win: “I was scared. It was very rough on Sunday. You always have respect for the sea but this was brutal, the worst I have ever encountered.
Nick continued: “You are airborne for what feels like 30 minutes and then you take a massive hit when you land. It is like hitting a brick wall at 30 miles per hour. I am battered and bruised now and emotionally overwhelmed by it all. The boat was rocking so aggressively. You feel as though you are eating your stomach and that you are going to throw up.”
No seatbelts, no harnesses
To make it easier to escape should a boat flip over the competitors didn’t wear seatbelts or harnesses. This can mean that competitors are thrown around thier boat. The pair also experienced engine difficulty during the race, and had to restart the vessel on a dangerously swelling high sea.
Indeed, conditions were so bad that only three of the eleven boats finished the final race of the day. Some boats (costing in excess of £70,000) finished the race day with cracked hulls due to the conditions.
Completing without penalties
The rough sea wasn’t all that Williams and Robinson had to contend with on the day. The Amershon duo needed to win the race with no penalties to make sure they landed the title at the end of a five venue season.
Williams, who works as a currency trader said after winning: “I was so overwhelmed when we won. I have been working for this for four years and to finally win it and to do it in those conditions was incredible. We were so emotional at the end because there was so much that could have gone wrong.
“There was a lot of pressure on us and we knew everyone else would be gunning for us. Six boats didn’t make it, it was so much worse than we expected and the event was on the cusp of being cancelled.”
It certainly sounds a tough event and I admire the guts of Williams and Robinson, I myself have competed in some tough conditions, including fog on one memorable occasion. Make sure you keep checking back on the Richard Carr Racing Blog for more Powerboat racing news.
About Richard Carr
Richard Carr, of Poole, is one of the UK’s most experienced and successful powerboat racers, who has competed in the sport globally.
He has won numerous domestic and international honours: he became British Class 1 Champion in 1991; he was the winner of the coveted Needles Trophy and he also came second in the Cowes Torquay Cowes race in 1992. It was the year the race was controversially competed in the fog and it has been argued for many years that he actually won the race.
He is known in the sport for his aggressive racing character in rough seas and recently raced in the USA for Geico in 2011.