SA fourth in international powerboat opening race

CANDICE BRADFIELD

PORT Alfred powerboat racer Tim Fetherstonhaugh recently represented South Africa in the Sharjah season opener for the UIM Nations Cup in Khor Fakkan in the United Arab Emirates.

The South African team of Fetherstonhaugh and Mark Shepherd finished fourth overall. A total of 16 drivers from eight countries took part in the event which took place from March 27 to 30.

MIND IN THE GAME: Local powerboat racer Tim Fetherstonhaugh (left) at the Sharjah season opener for the UIM Nations Cup which was recently held in Khor Fakkan in the United Arab Emirates Picture: SUPPLIED

On the first day the boat allocations were done and the drivers were introduced to the course.

“The course was great and similar to those we run at home – a couple of tight turns and one floaty one,” said Fetherstonhaugh.

On the second day there were two test or practice sessions. Fetherstonhaugh was on pace in both, with his lap times in the top five. He even beat his own best time by 1.2 seconds.

On April 29 there was one practice followed by time trials which did not go well for Shepherd who had electronic fuel injection failure and was unable to post a time.

Fetherstonhaugh beat team Brunei and got into the second round but missed qualifying for the third round by 0.02 seconds. Team South Africa came fifth overall for the match races.

On the day of the main race there was one practice session and Fetherstonhaugh said everything seemed to be going well as his time put him back in the top five.

In the first heat of the main race he was battling to come up from 10th place. After about 10 of the total 20 laps, Fetherstonhaugh’s boat experienced electrical problems and he ended up second last.

With only 15 minutes until the next heat they were unable to find the problem and Fetherstonhaugh just went out to get points for South Africa. Shepherd came fifth and he came sixth, with their combined points earning the team fourth place overall on the scoreboard.

The next race will take place in Durban in October and there will possibly be a race in Mexico at the end of the year. He said he is desperately in need of sponsorship for the Durban race if anyone can help.

Fetherstonhaugh thanked D&A Timbers for their ongoing support.

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