Team Energiza powered to its maiden Great Race title Saturday to deny Mr Solo Too an 18th overall crown in the 51st edition of the race.
The 37-foot Bowen, driven by Sheldon Edghill and throttleman Anthony Brash was a previous winner of the Great Race but under the names of Checkmate and Top Gun.
It’s been racing under the name of Team Energiza for the last eight years but the boat itself is roughly three decades old.
Yesterday, however, Edghill and Brash survived the choppy waters in between Trinidad and Tobago to emerge victorious overall and in the 95mph category. They faced stiff competition for a large part of the race from 50mph boat Jesus Is Coming, which had made most of the early running in the race having had the benefit of a staggered earlier start than the bigger vessels. However, when Jesus is Coming reached the choppier waters off the coast of La Fillette, Energiza grabbed the lead and managed to hold onto it until they reached Pigeon Point.
“It was a good run,” Edghill told Guardian Media Sports after the race.
“Winning the class was our goal. We had a game plan that we were going to push hard from the start and we did just that.”
Edghill praised his team for their hard work on the boat in the build-up to the Great Race.
He said, “We have moved through all the classes. We won the 60mph, 70mph, 80mph and 95mph so it’s been a very good year for us. The crew has put in many hours so a lot of kudos have to go out to Barry Podmore, Morgan Honnock, Amiter Ramatali and Josh Stone.”
Mr Solo Too had to settle for second place overall but again topped the 130mph class. Led by veteran driver Ken Charles, the boat picked up its 17th category title in Charles’ 50 years of competing in the Great Race.
Having reached Tobago, Charles said, “In our final round, we lost a propeller and that was the propeller we hit on Wednesday during trials. We were lucky it lasted until we got into Tobago so we had to limp over the line on the final round.”
Mr Solo Too was the only boat in its category to make it to Tobago.
The race was also riddled with casualties in almost all the categories. Big Thunder, Jumbie, Ironman and Paramount all endured mechanical failures and couldn’t finish the race in the fastest class.
In the 80mph, Papi Chulo and Blue Ice didn’t complete the race while Alien and Speed Up fell out of the 70mph class.
In the 80mph class, Heatwave finished first while Hero V was second. Heatwave ended the race third overall. Extreme Measures was the lone finisher in the 70mph class while Trident was the first to reach Tobago in the 60mph class. Infusion Hero IV followed in second while Timeless was third.
As Jesus is Coming celebrated victory in the 50mph class and also finished the race fourth overall, Super Tuff took second while Ketch This was third. Ravers were the fourth and final boat to finish in the category.