On Saturday 04 February 2017, 250 racers, supporters, friends and family, converged on the Novotel in Southampton to celebrate the success of British Powerboat Racing at the RYA Powerboat Racing Awards Ceremony.
This well established highlight in the powerboat racing calendar saw racers from across the three disciplines of Circuit, Offshore and Jetsport come together to celebrate their triumphs, with world-renowned powerboat racer, Shelley Jory-Leigh, and BBC Radio Solent's Neil Sackley on hand to present the trophies. And in the event, no fewer than 33 awards were presented to Britain’s elite powerboat racers, who last year clinched a host of British, European, World and Speed records across the sport’s many classes.
RYA Powerboat Racing Manager, Jeni Jelf, said: “Powerboat racing has had another strong year, with 91 racing events being held across the UK. Nineteen British National Championship titles along with various National and World Speed records have been contested by over 460 competitors of varying ages in different racing categories – so we had a lot to celebrate at the RYA Powerboat Racing Awards Ceremony.”
Among the most warmly received presentations was the Lifetime Service Award for contributions to the sport both as a competitor and a volunteer (John Tassell); the 2016 RYA Powerboat Club Of the Year Award (Lowestoft & Oulton Broad Motorboat Club); and the 2016 Ian Stirling Memorial for ‘Contributions In the Spirit of the Sport' (Steve Lowe and Hollie Woodhouse). However, some of the more exceptional racers on the youth circuit were also recognised – not least Harvey Smith, Ben Jelf and Tiegan Goodfellow, whose accolades as 2016 RYA Powerboat Racing Youth Ambassadors pay ample testament to their skill, passion and commitment.
In fact, despite the sheer variety of categories on display, it was the youth element that appeared particularly pleasing to Jeni: “It was great to see so many talented youngsters receiving accolades for their achievements. Their dedication and determination to succeed really bodes well for the future of our sport. We’d like to thank everyone who came along for such an enjoyable night – and especially Guille Design, Team WNT and Inverclyde Council and Riverside Inverclyde, who joined us as the winners of the 2016 Powerboat Racing Industry Awards.”
To see the full and unabridged list of winners, alongside details of their various records and achievements, visit the RYA.