Drama struck Dorset-based Team Sunseeker during this morning’s practice session for the Powerboat P1 Grand Prix de Marseille in southern France, when the XS Challenger pitched poled and sank. Attempts to salvage the boat are now underway and the craft will be recovered back to Port Rouge.
Driver Andy Wilby and Throttleman Pete Little were both thrown clear of the boat and were recovered quickly from the water before being taken to hospital as a precautionary measure. Indications are that both pilots suffered bruising and are shaken, but otherwise appear to be in good spirits.
'The sea conditions changed and were rough this morning,' explains Team Manager Mel Wilby. 'We were testing different props and the lads were practicing turns exactly as they had been doing all weekend. It would appear that in the turbulent water and wake from other competitors, the boat dug-in and pitched.'
It is unlikely that the team will take part in this weekend’s Grand Prix of the Sea and the focus is now on repairing the boat in time for the next event, the Maltese GP, in June.