by Emma Slater
British RYA T850 Championship was held from 24th to 25th September 2011 at Stewartby in Bedford.
2011 British RYA T850 Champion - Mark Williams
Mark Williams (45) of Lowestoft secured his second British title of 2011 last weekend when he clinched the T850 Championship title.
Mark, the 2010 F4 World Champion, opted out of the 2011 British F4 Championship to focus on the 2011 World title instead and brought his trusty Monohull out of retirement to battle for the T850 crown.
The eight competitors of the T850 class battled it out over five rounds of racing which started in Lancashire in May. Williams got the season off to a flyer, taking pole position and following it up with a round win.
Engine problems at the second round meant Mark could only secure a fifth place finish so Bill Owen took the lead in the championship and Mark dropped down to join third with Peter Mantripp behind Mick Pillow.
Mark was back on form for the third round and once again stormed ahead taking pole position followed by a round win to promote him back to the top of the championship table.
Declared fourth in the World F4 Championships Mark entered the British Sprint Championships where he managed to claim the title ahead of the newly crowned 2011 World F4 Champions Scott Curtis.
Back to the T850 Championship and at the next round in Cardiff, Williams again secured pole and won the first heat of the weekend. Forced to retire in the second heat with engine problems again and a win the final heat of the weekend forced him into second place behind Mick Pillow. Williams now only held a two point lead over the fleet going in to the final round.
Conditions for the final round were less than perfect for all the classes competing and it was a testament to their skills and experience as they battled amongst each other in addition to battling with the gusting winds.
Williams once again took pole but the rest of the fleet were piling on the pressure with Dave James and Bill Owen hot on his wake the whole weekend. Mark managed to hold them off to take a hat trick of wins despite almost turning the boat over in the second heat and with it secured the 2011 British RYA T850 Championship title to accompany his F4 British Sprint title.
Dave James took second overall for the weekend with Bill Owen taking third. But it was Mick Pillow following his first national win in 25 years that took second overall in the Championship with the 2011 RYA British Sprint T850 Champion Bill Owen having to settle for second.
T850 National podium - winner Mark Williams - British RYA T850 Championship 2011