Fun in the wet for speed boats
TWO spectacular crashes stole the show but could not take the gloss off the success of the Australian Formula Powerboat Grand Prix event on Grafton’s Clarence River on the weekend.
Formula 2 competitor David Wedlock made headlines on Saturday after the Townsville driver flipped his boat in the closing stages of the afternoon session.
He was able to walk away from the crash and – after some hasty boat repairs – was back on the water on Sunday.
Mick Beasley also came to grief when he barrow-rolled in the Formula 1 category yesterday.
The carnage was made even more spectacular when crowd favourite and event organiser Craig Truslove was unable to avoid the damaged boat and ran over Beasley’s engine.
But they were minor blips in an impressive day on the great river.
Even the rain kept in check, spitting only when the break was taken for lunch on Sunday.
“The whole thing was really fantastic,” Truslove said.
“The whole weekend was great. We went and sourced the original rules and added some of our own to make it more fun.
“The good thing about powerboats is the safety. They are not built for the sort of crashes we saw but the driver is in very good shape in these machines.”
One of the 15-lap events finished with just .75sec separating the top three.
David Trask claimed the Formula 1 class, Michael Page took the Formula 2 spoils, David Aimley won the Sports mono category while Fletcher Osbourne showed his potential for the next few seasons by clinching the Formula Future division.
“When you’re racing with the same size engine and boat it (winning) comes down to a combination of things,” Truslove said.
“It’s how big your guts are. It’s like Holden v Ford.”
Plans are already afoot for the 2011 version of the competition, with more locked in at Grafton until 2014.
“I have already had some people come up and say they have had a great time,” Truslove said.
“I have had a sponsor’s wife come and say ‘I didn’t really want to come but I have had a great day.”
Competitors must now regroup and head to Gellong for round 3 where all the fun on the water starts again.
Formula 1 – David Trask
Formula 2 – Michael Page
Formula 3 –Corey Duvall
Sports Mono – David Aimley
Formula Futures – Fletcher Osbourne