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T&TPBA—A regatta for Tobago please!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

As far as we Trinbagonians are concerned, the greatest show on Earth has come and gone far too quickly. Some may feel that with all the fetes and the other bacchanal that surrounds our Carnival, it is too long. The arguments however about who should have won Panorama, the Calypso Monarch, the King and Queen of Carnival etc. will go on for months and will resurface again before the 2019 Carnival. Thankfully, from all reports it was a relatively safe carnival barring a few incidents. Kudos to our law enforcement officers for doing a fabulous job under very trying circumstances.

Before some think about the 2019 Carnival season and which band we will be playing with, the Powerboat fraternity will be looking forward to their 2018 season and what a fantastic season it promises to be with the 50th running of the Great Race: the longest off shore power boat race in the world carded for Saturday August 18th 2018.

The T&T Powerboat Association (TTPBA) National championship regatta season opened at the end of last month with four events contested in five classes. It was great to see the return of Motul Monster which claimed a hat-trick of Great Race wins in 2013, 14 and 15 competing in the A class category.

Of course, these are early days and the old war veteran Ken Charles will take his time in preparing the people’s favourite - Mr Solo Too - as nothing would please Charles more than to win the Great Race and prove that he will go down in Powerboat history as the best driver to have won the prestigious title.

Most of the 2017 champions had their boats in the water for the opening regatta. The G class and National overall champion Trident won two of the four races while the F class champion Fire Chief won three of the four races contested.

Mobil Outlaw once again dominated the E class while Ultra Rush had no opponents to contend with in the D class, but the outing would have done wonders for his boat.

To those of you out there that think Powerboat racing is something easy and those in their machines have a nice time, let me advise you that to be a racer you have to be a little ‘mad’ or have a few loose screws. The speed of these boats vary from 60 miles per hour (mph) in the G class which is the lowest class, right up to 130 mph in the highest class A.

Racing some 102 nautical miles in the open sea and all you have is a team of two or three people takes sheer skill, determination, fitness, heart and bravery as sea conditions have the potential to change drastically from wave to wave. I have seen videos from inside the cockpit of a boat with the boat crew bouncing around like paper dolls. But they absolutely love it as year after year they return, just ask Ken Charles.

There are four more regattas carded before the running of the Great Race and it will be interesting to see if there are any new boats coming into the fray at these regattas to challenge the old guard. There is no doubt Motul Monster has come back to win, Mr Solo Too wants to create more history and Big Thunder and Iron Man will want to carve their name on that 50th anniversary plaque so I expect to see a record number of boats taking part.

We have a lot to look forward to in the 2018 Powerboat season and I am hoping that the people of Tobago who truly love and support Powerboat racing, will be able to stage a regatta during the course of the year - they deserve it. Think about it TTPBA.

Let’s wish the TTPBA and its stakeholders a safe, successful and exciting racing season!



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