The title fight now goes all the way to the final race of the season on the Mersey tomorrow as Pertemps suffered engine sensor problems and limped home out of the points the first time this season.
The win came in dramatic fashion though, after race leader Edox overturned and partially sunk. Driver Rupert Pugh (Matlock Bath) and Will Nurse were thrown clear and quickly picked up by safety marshals on jet skis but the race was brought to a premature end with 11 of the 15 scheduled laps completed.
It was cruel luck for Rupert and Will as they had led the race from the first corner and were holding a commanding lead over Peters & May when disaster struck. “Something happened to the steering and all of a sudden we started to roll. The next thing I knew I was in water and looking for Will, when I could see he was struggling I sent the marshals to him first”, said Rupert. “It was a real shame we went over as we had a clear lead and I was really enjoying driving the Panther on the throttle.”
It was a bit like being inside a washing machine at times as the waves were bouncing back at us from the wall along the river bank...
Shelley Jory-Leigh - Helvetia Wealth
Peters & May could not match Edox for speed and were also involved in a race-long duel with Typhoo pair Andy Wilby (Fleet)/Jonny Allbut (Southampton). Lap after lap Typhoo tried to find a way past but had to take the outside line as Hook drove as close to the markers as possible. Sadly for the 1000s watching on the river bank the dice came to an end on lap nine when Typhoo was also hit by steering trouble and was forced into retirement.
Helvetia Wealth piloted by Shelley Jory-Leigh and Dan Smith (Southampton) drove a steady race as the water became progressively rougher and their cautious approach paid off with a season’s best second place finish. “I drove to suit the conditions”, commented Shelley. “It was a bit like being inside a washing machine at times as the waves were bouncing back at us from the wall along the river bank.”
Championship challenger Team 88 suffered an engine problem and were forced to race despite a severe loss of power, however Simon Bayles (Battersea) and navigator Philippa Baker (Kensington) were able to finish in third place as the race became a war of attrition. The Rookie crew now go into tomorrow’s final round just six points behind leaders Pertemps.
1. Peters & May 23m 57s; 2. Helvetia Wealth 25m 46s; 3 Team 88 (9 laps) 22m 59s.
1. Pertemps 121; 2, Peters & May 117; 3, Team 88 115; 4, Helvetia Wealth 95.