Back up north again to Hacketts Lake, through the awful bank holiday traffic, for round 2 of the National championship, this time combined with round one of the European championship. With my plans for this year centred around the euro championship, I wanted a good meeting to kick the season off. We got great weather -again - and a wonderful meeting run by the Rhodes family and Midlands Branch.
There was certainly some stiff competition in Formula 2, joint world champions Denis Ragot from France, and Magnus Ivanoff from Sweden, quick Swede Tony Ostermann, Brits Kev Eastwood, Wayne Hill & Dave Polfrey - and a blisteringly quick Tony Goldney with his GSX-R700 powered Raider hovercraft.
From the off, it was pretty clear that Magnus would be the feller to beat, and sure enough he finished all four races with a commanding lead. Never having raced my Cobra on water before, it took me a while to grab hold of it and a badly timed thrust engine stall on the grid of race two meant that I finished a lowly sixth in that race. By sunday afternoon however, it was starting to come together, and in the final race I managed to pass both Denis and Tony for a decent second place finish although Tony Goldney was busy repairing his craft after a fan failure. When all shook out at the weekend's end I was third place which I was extremely happy with. I've now got a lot more confidence in the craft which showed serious pace. I even lent it to reigning Formula One champion Dan Turnbull to claim soem points in Formula One after his own craft suffered a catastrophic failure - well, it doesn't hurt to get feedback from the best in the business does it? So... now Dan owes me a drive in his incredible F1...<evil laugh!>
Racing carried on into bank holiday Monday and with Tony's dropepd races, though he took two wins in some very windy conditions, his technicalproblems meant I'd done enough to secure my first Formula Two win. Result!
So - a third in the European, and a first in the national. I'm now 5 points clear in the national championhsip and wondering if I ought to continue to do them, rather than dropping one or two which had inconvenient dates!
Thanks to the organisers, marshals, race control and recovery crews, 0lus Kieth Oakley and his crew for the live video coverage. It's great to be able to watch it back afterwards.
I also had a GoPro on my craft this weekend, and if you'd like to see a race, take a look!
Fantastic picture from Rhiannon Black - thanks Rhi! https://www.facebook.com/RhiannonBlackPhotography
My daughter came up to collect the tinware - she loves her Swedish viking buddy!