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Drew Langdon takes pole for Asia Powerboat Championship

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia 9 Nov 2018 18:17 PST 9-11 November 2018
Drew Langdon, GBR. Asia Powerboat Championships 2018 © Guy Nowell

It’s been a long time coming – 10 years to be precise – but today Martin Lai, the only Chinese P1 powerboat racer on the cards, a world record holder in his own right, and founder of the Asia Powerboat Association, was delighted to see the opening day of Asia’s first-ever powerboat championship in his home town, Hong Kong.

“There have been a lot of bumps in the road,” said Lai. “It has taken a lot of patience and application to get to where we are today, and I am absolutely thrilled to see the twelve boats out on the water, and racing. It’s been a long journey.”

On the water today, and driving China-built T750 class boats powered by Tohatsu 50hp engines and designed by John Guille, were:

Sarah Donohue GBR Leifur Dam Leifsson ISL Martin Lai HKG Zhang Qian CHN Charlotte Camsey GBR Siu Chun Kit HKG Campbell Jenkins AUS Drew Langdon GBR Matt Palfreyman GBR Wu Bing Chen CHN Francis Notschaele BEL Alain Coppens BEL

Today was timed laps to decide pole positions for when the racing proper starts tomorrow at the Wu Ka Sha Promenade in Ma On Shan. Drew Langdon, recent winner of the Harnsworth Trophy, climbed off a London flight and made it to the race briefing just in time. He then sparked up the fastest lap of the day at 1m 12s – pretty good for a man with jetlag! Remaining pole positions will be announced before tomorrows racing begins.

Next up: six races over two days to decide the first Asia Powerboat Champion. But this is just a beginning – Lai is presently in negotiations with relevant authorities in China, Thailand, Macau and Singapore to create a pan-Asian circuit, the Asian Grand Prix of the Seas. He says, “It took a lot of patience to get this far, and it’ll take a lot more to get all of that organised, but we have made a start.”

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