10:15 AM Fri 30 Sep 2011 GMT
British Outboard Hydroplane Championship final round was held in Stewartby, Bedford last weekend, 24 to 25 September 2011.
Julian Codling (46) from Norwich has once again retained his British Outboard Hydroplane Championship title after heading into the event with everything to race for.
Julian who races a 250cc Hydroplane has had a very busy year competing at club, National and International level.
2011 has seen him compete in the European F250 Championship twice in Italy, Hungary and Germany where he excelled on last years' results to take a European silver medal. He also competed at the World O250 Championships in Finland in July securing a very respectable Bronze medal.
It was a frustrating 2011 in the National Sprint Championship for the JC Racing Team, when competing at Stewartby Lakes back in August engine problems and bad weather conditions meant the team lost their 250cc National Sprint Championship crown.
So Julian had everything to prove in the rest of the Outboard Hydroplane championships in the hope of retaining one of his crowns.
Due to bad weather the organisers had to cancel the first four rounds of the competition meaning the first round of Hydroplane racing was finally held at Bodymoor in June.
Julian got his campaign off to a flying start taking wins at the first and second round of competition but the decider would be at the British Championship finals at Stewartby. He took pole position and stormed ahead in the first race with everything on track to retain the title.
However disaster struck whilst Julian led the second heat. With a comfortable lead he was heading back into shore as a gust of wind caught the boat next thing he knew he was seeing sky instead of his usual view of water. The boat had spectacularly flipped and Julian was left swimming. Quickly recovered by the rescue team everyone was glad to see Julian escaped with no injuries; unfortunately the same could not be said for his boat which would be unfixable for the rest of the meeting.
So Julian was left to play the waiting game. Had the previous rounds results been enough to win him the championship?
With a combination of retirements and engine problems after the restart, none of the rest of the fleet finished the race and Julian was still in with a chance.
Heat three was secured by O350 British Sprint Champion Nigel Edwards and in doing so he secured the overall win of the final weekend. Wayne Turner won the fourth and final heat putting him tied in second for the weekend with Julian.
Once all the results were in Julian had retained the 2011 British RYA Outboard Hydroplane Championship with Wayne Turner taking second and Nigel Edwards securing third overall.
Julian commented: 'After winning last year I certainly wanted to hold on to the title for a second year. Everything was going to plan, I had won the first two rounds and at the final round at Stewartby all I needed to do was finish. I won the first race quite comfortably and was leading the second race when surprisingly I was looking at the sky instead of the water!
'The next thing I knew I was bobbing about in the water and had flipped the boat. The rescue team were fantastic and soon had me on board the rescue boat and the paramedic was checking me over. Luckily I didn't suffer any serious injuries, however the boat suffered a little more and I was unable to fix it for the remaining races. Luckily I had a good points lead after the first two rounds and I was able to retain the title. A big thanks to all of the team especially Graham and Philip and also sponsors Danger UK and Powerseal.'
by Emma Slater