August will kick off with a bang at St Cloud when the P1 Superstock boats and AquaX Jet-Skis ride into town for the latest round of the 2015 P1 Superstock season, writes Richard Carr.
The boat ramps allowing access to East Lake Tohopekaliga from Lakeshore Park will be closed, but there will still be plenty of action to take in – and all of it for free!
It will be the fourth successive time that the series has used St Cloud as a venue in its championship, with racing set to begin at 10am on both August 1 and 2.
The eight-strong fleet of P1 Panther’s will race on a kidney-shaped 2.3 mile course just north of the marina with nine tight, fast turns.
“Anyone who believes in the saying that ‘It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts’ would be well-advised to steer clear of St. Cloud,” said Azam Rangoonwala, Powerboat P1 USA director and a past racer. “This is going to be a tense, exciting, and electrifying weekend, and it’s great to be returning to St. Cloud.”
The series has already visited Daytona Beach, Jacksonville and Sarasota, but the St Cloud stop will be the first time that the racers have pitted their wits on a lake.
Last year’s champions GD Environmental Services boat, piloted by James Norvill and Christian Parsons-Young, leads the Powerboat series standings, ahead of Lycamobile Racing. The AquaX jet skiers race in six different classes depending on the size, power and stroke of their craft.
St. Cloud City Council member Donny Shroyer said the races have been a part of St. Cloud lore as long as he can remember. He even rode on the pace boats that would keep up with the helicopters that carried race judges, and said East Lake provides for a stiff challenge for even the best racers.
“I love the boats and I love the lake,” he said. “These people have heard me tell the story that this lake used to be called “Sleeping Tiger,” because you’d be out when it’s calm, and a few minutes later you’ve got white caps throwing the boat all over the place.”
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.
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