After three consecutive years winning the NZ Offshore Powerboat title the economic recession meant that there were no Bakewell-White boats running in the New Zealand championship of 2009.
But 2010 has seen the return of the Bakewell-White designed Phantom running under a new team and new sponsors. Shedding the Sleepyhead colours and now running as ‘Doosan’ the 34ft Phantom has been thoroughly overhauled and made her debut at the opening round of the NZ Championship, in early February, on Lake Taupo.
The conditions of 25-30kt winds and a 1m sea were not ideal for the new team unfamiliar not only with the boat, but also entering their first foray into the V8 Superboat class. The crew of Cary Gleeson(throttles) and Sam Fillmore(driver) had said that they saw this as a learning season before making a more concerted effort in 2011.
Imagine their delight as they came away from the Taupo round with a maiden win and the best possible start to the 2010 championship. After seven laps trading the lead with Fairview, race-prep paid off when Fairview lost steering leaving Doosan an easy ride home with the remainder of the field trailing well behind.
A delighted Gleeson said 'to be honest I got out of the boat singing its praises, you have designed an amazing machine and I feel with our team we have behind us mechanically and sponsorship wise we are in for a great few seasons racing Our sponsors are 100% behind us with around 120 people turning up to support us on Sunday.
There is even talk of taking the boat to Australia in the off season but we will see.'