by Emma Slater
Mark Williams (46, Lowestoft) has been crowned 2013 Powerboat GP RYA T850 British Sprint Champion marking his 21st title victory! The weekend of 03 - 04 August saw the T850 army attend the British Sprint Championships in Bedford to challenge for the prestigious T850 Sprint Championship title.
T850 - Mark Williams - 2013 Powerboat GP RYA T850 British Sprint Champion
With virtually nothing in the average times amongst the top three, the breezy conditions at the Stewartby Lake provided the ideal conditions for the always-entertaining T850 class to show off their talents and ability to race in virtually all conditions.
After a fierce 20 minute qualifying session, Mark Williams finally delivered the pole position that he has been threatening since the Lowestoft Grand Prix when he showed signs of finally getting to grips with his new hull. Despite a really good effort from Dave James and Billy Owen, they had no answer to Mark’s best qualifying time of 101.55.
Heat one saw the fleet roar off from the dock with Williams being very clear that he was taking no prisoners and was determined not to give an inch. With Dave James in hot pursuit and Billy Owen powering into the mix in wasn't long before Billy caught Dave by surprise and took second position away.
Heats two and three saw Mark continue to dominate with the perfect set-up and Dave James taking second place finishes despite having a bit of a ‘moment’ when his boat caught some wash on the start of heat two and a veered off to the right causing Jason Brewer to take avoiding action and collide with Nigel Edwards.
Elsewhere in the fleet, F4 Driver Paul Vears joined the ever growing numbers T850’s and despite some initial gremlins, seemed to get to grips with his flighty mono by the end of the weekend. Peter Hart also made a welcome appearance at the Sprint Championships - a sight we hope to see more often and some good ‘scraps’ for fourth place were seen between Nigel and Jason.
The man of the hour had this to say about his 21st British Championship win: 'What a result ! I have been practicing so hard to get the set up right on this new monohull, I did not expect that this would be the weekend that it finally all came together for me. Every single one of the 21 titles I have won are important and I’m determined that this one will not be my last.'
Mark continued: 'I would like to thank everyone for their support, but special thanks to my wife who is not only a great help, but also possibly my biggest fan! '
The T850 British championship challenge continues on the 22 - 23 September at the final round - the Bedford Grand Prix!