Coniston Power Boat Records Week 2017 – Round-Up
Saturday 4th November 2017
The 47th Annual Powerboat Records Week will go down in history as one of the most popular events since it moved from Lake Windermere to Coniston Water in 2005. Entry numbers, attempts on the run, records broken and hundreds of spectators, all surpassed recent years figures and at drivers briefing in the Coniston Institute on Sunday evening, it was standing room only.
As a Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM – World governing body of powerboat racing) calendared event, Coniston Powerboat Records Week is open to competitors from around the globe. This year we were delighted to welcome competitors from Latvia, France, and Germany, not to mention from all corners of the UK, including the Channel Islands.
Day 1 dawned to reveal a stunning autumn sunrise with frost laden jetties and a clear sky which always a good indicator at Records Week, that records are going to be broken. With the perfect 46 attempts were made with 11 records being broken or re-broken.
The fastest run of day 1 was by Vee Ganjavian in his Buzzi 32 offshore monohull, powered by an Express 980hp engine, Vee set a new Inboard Immersed Propellor Monohull Single engine class at 102.97mph. On board was his co-pilot who Frank Rose who had traveled to records week from the Isle of Wight, 30 y/o Engineer Frank went on later in the week to break Vee’s record by over 4mph, setting a new National record in the class at 106.80mph. As a 1st time, water speed record breaker over 100mph Frank received a Gold K7 Club Star and was duly invited to join the prestigious club founded by Donald Campbell.
A competitor who is no stranger to setting speed records, albeit in a shed and on a sofa, was TV’s Wheeler Dealer, Edd China. Edd had been working with the Gibbs Amphibious Vehicles team who were at Records Week in 2016. Edd joined the current Amphibious Experimental class record holder and Gibbs development engineer, Rob Clemas, in Coniston this year. Edd took to water speed record breaking like a duck to water on the Gibbs Amphibious Quadski establishing a new National record in the Amphibious Experimental 1 – 2 Litre class. Edd went on to increase his record in this class several times throughout the week, eventually settling for 46.11mph.
One of the youngest competitors of the week was 16 year old, Thomas Mantripp. Thomas from Oulton Broad entered into 2 classes of boat during the week. Following in his father and grandfathers footsteps, Thomas has already won the British National Championship in 2017 after racing his GT30 boat all year around the country, but his biggest success of the week was in OSY400 Hydroplane class. The OSY class of boat is driven from a lying down position, so for a 16-year-old to set a new National Record at 63.22mph in this class takes outstanding courage and trust in his team who are preparing the boat. Unfortunately for Thomas fellow member of the Lowestoft and Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club, Wayne Moyse, was in Coniston to attempt the same record and just pipped Thomas to the title at the end of the week with a speed of 63.90mph just 0.78mph faster than Thomas.
Distance and Nationality is immaterial in the Powerboat Racing World, Peter Hart travelling from Windermere setting a new World Record in the Pro Rib Sport class at 78.16mph, to Mattieu Chiarini from the Côte d’Azur region on the French Riviera who travelled with passenger and girlfriend Tiffany Montero, to set a new World and French National record in the P750 Pro Stock class at 69.00mph.
The fastest record of the week was set by Records Week veterans, Drew Langdon, who in his Marathon A, Outerlimits Hulled boat, prepared by bullet offshore, set a new National record at 123.39mph.
Records Week is the only event were all disciplines powerboat craft can be seen competing in the same event which is one of many attributes that make Records Week truly unique. One of the most entertaining classes is always the Aquabikes, led by the ever-enthusiastic (even on a cold November morning in the Lake District), wetsuit-clad Graham Leech who is Chairman of the Jet Sport Racing Association. Graham set a new World record this week at 70.81mph.
Records Week marks the end of the powerboat racing season each year in the UK, two drivers from the circuit discipline of the sport who have raced all year at the club and national level attended Records Week for the 1st time this year. Roy Battarbee with his wife and passenger, Jen Battarbee (or Mrs Ballast as Roy refers) who are from the Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club established a new National Record in the National Clubman Unlimited Monohull class. Also from the Circuit discipline was the eldest entrant of the week, Tony Judge was a teenager visiting relatives in the Lake District in December 1966 and remembers watching some of Donald Campbell’s attempts, just a few days before the fateful run 50 years ago on Coniston Water. It has always been Tony’s dream to make his own record attempt in the Cathedral of World Water Speed Records, and this week his dream came true. Although falling short of the record, he intends to try again next year.
Records Week is run entirely by over 60 volunteers and the overwhelming generosity of several local businesses, the people of Coniston Village and of course the Lake District National Park. We are truly grateful to all of those who make it possible to ensure this great British tradition continues and that Coniston Water remains the Spiritual Home of World Water Speed Record Breaking.
The dates for the 48th Annual Powerboat Records Week have been agreed, the event will take place from 29th October through to 2nd November 2018 on Coniston Water, Cumbria, England.
The headline figures from the week are:
· 49 Entries (over 50% achieved a record)
· 182 Attempts on the run
· 6 World Records
· 19 National Records
· 1 French National Record
· 1 German National Record