As the Honda Formula 4-Stroke Powerboat race series starts its 2009 season, the all-female H-7 Team Eclipse is sitting in 5th place with 24 points after the first race in Pwllheli, North Wales (9th & 10th May).
Driver Rose Lores, embarking on a third bid to win the championship this year, is optimistic that with new navigator Sara Cureton, a new engine and new sponsor Eclipse Marketing, they are in with a good chance.
Rose says: “After a long winter of preparation and planning, before we knew it, the new season was upon us. High winds meant no racing could take place on the Saturday so two races had to be packed into the second day.”
As it was Sara’s first race ever, Team Eclipse were put at the end of the start line alongside the completely new teams and got off to a really bad start – way out on the end, and avoiding one of the novice teams who were all over the place. But as the race went on, the boat settled down and Team Eclipse started to pick up pace. Several boats slowed down dramatically when their propellers were caught in fishing net which allowed them to pass easily and spend the last three laps catching up on Team Octane, although ending up three seconds behind them in 6th place with 12 points.
Team Eclipse got a much better start in the second race and found good pace on the straights but on each turn found themselves in a pack of boats which often resulted in a wall of water thrown up at them and the lack of visibility and the inability to read the water meant they were often thrown off course, losing valuable seconds before being able to correct things. However, navigator Sara quickly got the hang of the tactical side of navigation and they were busy blocking boats from behind and keeping ahead of them, in particular her husband’s boat, Team Purple.
At the end of the race they finished again in 6th place, with 12 points, putting them in 5th place overall.
Rose concludes: “It’s been a challenging start for the team, but a reasonable result, and we’re confident we can do better at the next we race in Plymouth (20th & 21st June).
To follow H-7 Team Eclipse progress visit www.eclipsemarketing.co.uk
– but the sailors praise the new boats