30 Aug 2011
The P1 SuperStock Panther Southampton based team Helvetia Wealth piloted by Shelley Jory-Leigh with navigator Dan Smith celebrated their home success this weekend at the 2011 British Powerboat Festival as they took silver in their class and third overall in the Cowes Poole Cowes Race.
Bank holiday Sunday (28 August) saw around 40 powerboat teams descend upon Cowes, Isle of Wight for the British Powerboat festival 2011. Seventeen teams took part in the gruelling 164nm race from Cowes to Torquay and back, that would test not only the boats capabilities but also the strength and stamina of the crews.
The other 18 teams took part in the shorter but just as testing Cowes Poole Cowes Race, including the P1 SuperStock fleet that would really have their racing skills put to the test in taxing conditions.
The overall Cowes Poole Cowes Race was won by Shelley’s fierce rivals from the World championship circuit Team 26, racing as Peters and May Racing. The 38ft Donzi driven by Daniel Cramphorn, Kim Collins and Miles Jennings took the overall win and the first in class in the over 300hp category, completing the 34nm race in 42 minutes.
Taking second overall and first in the P1 Panther Class was the SuperStock Team Peters and May of Darren Hook (Wadhurst) and Dave Harwood (London) completing the race in 43 minutes and 18 seconds.
Helvetia Wealth stormed home to take their first podium finish of the season so far securing second in the P1 SuperStock Panther class and third in the race overall just seconds behind the P1 Peters and May team completing the race in 43minutes and 54seconds.
“I think the curtailment of the second lap was quite sensible”, said Shelley, “After the first lap there were only three or four of us in the 250s still running. On the first part of the course running down to Two Buoys, it was that typical off the Needles swell. For once, probably my sensibility of being a little bit cautious in the rough probably got us through in one piece.
“I had hoped it would happen, but I never thought I was going to make a podium this year, to get back in a race boat was my big challenge and it’s been very hard at times. To get a second place podium at Cowes, is fantastic as this was our home event. Dan did a fantastic job navigating too and he handled the bigger course brilliantly ,he really deserves the trophy it was complete team work and trust.”
To achieve such a result, in rough conditions, is testament to the former British champion’s skill and sheer determination, ably assisted of course by trusty navigator Smith. It wasn’t all plain sailing though for Helvetia Wealth as heavy contact with a wave at one stage cut-out the comms unit.
“On the outward leg of the race our comms system failed, after coming of a large swell which of course makes communication between you and the driver very difficult” explains Navigator Dan “It’s then that team work and trust really come into play we completed the race using hand signals to choose the correct lines and keep us on the correct track.”
“This was my first endurance race, I’ve watched the Cowes Race ever since I was little and to actually be able to take part and come home with a podium finish was a dream come true I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.”Team Helvetia Wealth will look to capitalise on this success in two weeks time at the next round of the championship in Liverpool over the 10th & 11th September and boost their overall position in the 2011 RYA British P1 SuperStock Championship.