“We lost communications at the start so we held back as it was hard for Dean to see the other boats in the run down to the first mark.” Commented Stoneman. “The water was much calmer this afternoon than in this morning’s practice so I concentrated on keeping the boat nicely trimmed and put in some fast laps in the opening part of the race to pull away.”
Behind the runaway leaders there was a close-fought battle for second place between newcomers James Norvill/Jon Collinbourne in their Oval Insurance-backed P1 Panther 250 and the identical Typhoo boat of Andy Wilby/Dave Flewin. The race went all the way to the finish line with Oval just surviving by half a boat length to take second place.
“That was by far our best race so far this season”, said James. “We made a good start that set us up for the race and then had a great fight with Typhoo. The result proves we can run at the front, which is great for novices like us."
On lap one Palu dropped to last place with a dead engine but came back to finish just behind the fourth-placed IFX Racing craft of Nick Williams/Aaron Emmett. “We were literally reaching for the retirement flag when I made one last attempt and she fired up!” Said Palu driver Simon Bayles. “We then had clear water in front of us and so set off to try and finish has high up as we could. In the second half we had a good fight with IFX and almost got past but nonetheless it was a great race and we really enjoyed it.”
The normally front-running Peters & May Racing with Brookspeed Panther was slowed by a technical fault when their bow tank pump failed early in the race, leaving Mike Lovell and navigator Luke Elkin languishing in sixth place. The final position fell to Edox Swiss Watches piloted by Ian Brusby and new navigator Will Nurse.
In the P1 150 Class championship leaders Stuart and Sara Cureton scored another emphatic win ahead of the Macdonold Mermaid crew of Dave and Kirsty Toozs-Hobson, with the Team 73 boat of Rose Lores/John Donnelly third.
The opening race of the day was stopped by race officials after reigning champion John Wilson suffered a nasty back injury in the start run. In the choppy conditions the Pertemps driver jarred his back and aggravated an old injury needing immediate medical attention. The P1 SuperStock Championship’s first ever visit to Eastbourne will now feature two more races tomorrow (Sunday).