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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Powerboat Records Week in Coniston Water

WORLD records were smashed at the start of Powerboat Records Week in Coniston Water. KARL STEEL reports.

POWERBOAT Records Week lived up to its billing as record after record fell on the first day of the event on Coniston Water.

Mist and fog cleared, leaving behind near-perfect conditions on the lake as some of the world’s fastest powerboats took to the water yesterday, in the hope of setting new world records.

The UK’s only straight-line speed event, celebrating its 40th anniversary, attracted 27 entrants from as far afield as Sweden, as the five-day event opened in style.

The very first run of the day resulted in the first record, as Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club’s Jim Noone smashed the previous best in the FR1000 category for hydroplane boats, registering a speed of 103.87mph.

Mr Noone, 52, said: “It was the best possible start to the week, as I broke the world record in my very first run. It means I can pack up and go home happy. The record was 89.6 mph, held by a German, and I’ve been trying for that record since 2003.

“I only launched this new boat, Fugitive 2, in May, and this was the first run I’ve done in it.”

Mr Noone has been attending the Records Week, based at Windermere until the speed ban was imposed in 2005, since the first event in 1970 where his father, Burt, set the world’s fastest speed in his boat, the first Fugitive.

Going into this week Jim held the world record at 154.7mph, but that record came under fire from Newby Bridge-based Ted Walsh.

Mr Walsh bettered that speed one way, but to stand as a recognised record by the Royal Yacht Association and the international body UIM, the speed must be recorded as an average over two runs.

Each pilot is timed over a straight 1km distance, before turning round and doing the same in the opposite direction.

Prior to the event, Mr Walsh’s aim was to top 150mph, and with three days still to run, he is confident of success.

He said: “I enter the F1 S3000 category, for catamarans.

“I’ve been doing this for many years, and I’m steadily approaching the magic 150mph, which is the milestone I’m aiming for.

“The conditions will have to be just right – the flattest water, and little wind – if I’m going to do it, but I’m confident I’ll manage.

“The boat is a 350 horsepower, 390kg catamaran, but there’s certainly three other boats in the North West capable of beating 150mph, so maybe they’ll be here by the end of the week.”

Also on the opening morning, Julian Codling, whose father Jack was a national hydroplane racing champion, took the record in the F250 class.

Record attempts are taking place across dozens of different categories, depending on the power and the type of boat, with some vessels eligible for more than one record.

The event is open for entries until Thursday, with record attempts on-going from 8am until dusk up to, and including Friday.


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