by Emma Slater
41st Annual Coniston Records Week is being held from 31st October to 4th November in Cumbria. UK Powerboat Racers from all over the country will head to Coniston Water in the bid to set new National and World speed records.
Ben Jelf in action - Coniston Records Week 2011
RYA Powerboat Racing Champion Ben Jelf (11) from Maidstone, Kent is aiming to become the fastest 11 year old on water when he takes part at Coniston Records Week in the bid to set a new World Speed Record in the GT15.
For almost a hundred years Powerboat record attempts have been made on several of the English lakes including Ullswater, Windermere and Coniston Water. Following the introduction of the Windermere speed limit in early 2005 and after a good deal of effort from many volunteers, Records Week 2005 took place on Coniston Water over a newly surveyed kilometre course.
It will take poise, skill and determination from this young racer to beat the current record of 40.92mph set by Sweden’s S. Rothman in 2008. But if his record attempt is successful he will join the famous record attempts of Sir Henry Segrave, Sir Malcolm Campbell and Donald Campbell in the history books.
Ben has already secured his place in history in 2011 by becoming Britain’s youngest World Powerboat Racing Champion when he secured the GT15 World title back in June just two days after his 11th Birthday.
He then when on to secure the GT15 European Championship as well as retain two British RYA titles in the JT250 Class. At the age of just 11 and in just three short years of racing Ben has achieved what most Racers strive their whole lifetimes to achieve.
Ben Jelf - RYA British GT15 Championship 2012
Alongside his World Record bid Ben is also hoping to raise money and awareness for Everyman Cancer Campaign. The incidence of male cancer is rising rapidly, but awareness remains low. Everyman works to raise awareness and fund research into testicular and prostate cancer.
Ben explains: 'Both of my grandfathers have Prostate Cancer and are looked after and receive first class treatment from the Doctors. Charities like the Everyman campaign help make this treatment possible by funding research and raising awareness of male cancer.
'If I can help raise awareness and money while hopefully setting a new World Record, than that’s great!'
Ben’s achievements so far this year have been fantastic! His grandfather, Ted, started racing in 1966 and along with his father and Uncle, Ben has followed in his footsteps into the sport of powerboat Racing.
'Ben has had a phenomenal year and with both his grandfathers both suffering from cancer he wants to put his achievements to good use and raise money and awareness for a charity that is close to his heart.
Testicular cancer is now the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15-44 and with over 56% of RYA Powerboat racers falling into that group, we’ll be backing Ben all the way in his campaign and record attempt and hope that both are really successful', commented RYA Powerboat Racing Officer, Nicola Drummond.
To support Ben or donate to Everyman please visit Ben’s Just Giving page.