Ben Jelf (12, Maidstone) the young British Powerboat Racer, will attempt to defend his crown at the UIM World GT15 Championships in Sweden this weekend (28/29 July).
Ben, who in 2011 became Britain’s youngest ever World Powerboat Racing Champion just two days after his 11th Birthday, was last weekend (21/22 July) crowned European Champion retaining his 2011 European title in what’s been his toughest competition to date.
He battled against eleven 10 -16 year olds from Estonia, Russia, GB and Lativa to defend his title in a competition that went down wire and was only decided in the last weekend of the championship. Following his win in Estonia Ben and his team, Jelf Racing, have travelled 350 miles to Osthammar in Sweden for the 2012 UIM GT15 World Championships being held this weekend in the hope of defending his World title and claiming yet another Gold.
Ben faces an even bigger challenge at the World competition as 20 teams’ line up to fight for the crown. Known entrants will represent Sweden, Estonia and Great Britain and despite having won the European title Ben knows he has his work cut out for him. 'There’s over 20 entries in the competition and that means we will have to qualify before we can even start to battle for the title. Amongst the entries there are five of us that were in the top six in the European Championship and we were all very quick and the racing was close so I’m sure Paul, Reio & Sken will cause me problems.' comments the European Champion.
'There’s also a large entry from Sweden and the class has been racing there for a few years now, whereas it’s still in its infancy in Great Britain so I expect they will field a lot of quick drivers. I’d be lying if I wasn’t nervous.'
Ben’s success in such a short career in powerboat racing and at such young age has won him an army of supporters all over the World and they will wait with anticipation to find out how he fairs at the World Championships. But one thing they’ll know for sure is that he’ll have given it everything he possibly can and won’t stop fighting until the chequered flag drops.
by Emma Slater
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9:05 AM Thu 26 Jul 2012GMT
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