by Emma Slater
Thomas Mantripp (11, Lowestoft) has been crowned 2013 Powerboat GP RYA GT15 British Sprint Champion. The weekend of 3rd-4th August saw 10 of Britain’s best young powerboat racers attend the British Sprint Championships in Bedford to challenge for the prestigious GT15 Sprint Championship title.
GT15 Thomas Mantripp - 2013 Powerboat GP RYA GT15 British Sprint Champion.
With tricky conditions on both days of the competition, all of the youngsters took to the water to try and gain the best qualifying times for the all important grid positions for the first heat.
Former Sprint Champion Ben Jelf claimed pole position, followed closely by his team-mate Tom Yallop in second with Thomas Mantripp settling for third on the start grid.
When the red lights went out in heat one both Jelf and Mantripp got away from the dock and a fantastic start saw both youngsters thundering towards the first turn. Ben, with the inside line, just had the edge over the aggressive challenge from Thomas who seemed determined to make his mark from the beginning.
Despite gaining an early lead, Ben Jelf could not recover from a couple of weather related incidents and the door was left wide open for Thomas to snatch the lead, where his blistering pace soon saw him gain a very comfortable position out in front finishing first with Ben second and Jess Beaumont third, after an incident with Tom Yallop saw the race red flagged and finished early.
Day two saw Thomas dominate heats two and three with an almost text book perfect drive which showed all of his practice and persistence pay off to take the overall win and Championship Title with Ben finishing second and Jess third overall.
Commenting on his first ever win Thomas said: 'I still cannot believe I have won ! My father and I have been working so hard the last couple of years and we have finally got the result we have been looking for.'
He continued: 'To become the GT15 British Sprint Champion really is a dream come true and I would like to thank my parents, sponsors, friends and family for all of their support and encouragement in making it happen. We are really looking forward to putting in a strong performance at the World Championships in Nottingham at the end of them month and cannot wait for the challenge!'
Attentions now turn to Nottingham for most of the Powerboat GP drivers as they prepare to enter the GT15 World Championships on the 31 August – first September at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham.
Strong Sprint event performances from Teigen Goodfellow, Jack Pickles and Elliot Fleet could provide us with interesting entertainment at the World Championships as they look set to give it their best shot to gain the title!
For more information on Powerboat GP visit the Powerboat GP website.