Richard Rowe - winner of the 250 class
Phil Pope - winner of the 300hp class
250 Podium - 2nd Damien Evans, 1st Richard Rowe, 3rd Nial Grannell (Rookie winner)
Dave Lee - 200 class winner
Richard Rowe brought home the win for Wales at the penultimate round of the P1 AquaX 250 Championship in Cardiff Bay last weekend ahead of teammate Damien Evans to secure the win and take the lead in the 250 championships. Irishman Nial Grannell finished in third to win his first podium finish of the series and much to his delight was also awarded the Cardiff Rookie Cup.
Rowe’s good fortune comes at a cost to Adrian Wilson, who suffered mechanical problems in Race 1 and was forced to sit out and watch his championship lead disappear. Wilson (173pts) now trails Rowe (183pts) by 10 points going into the final round. Damien Evans sits in second with 179 points going into the grand finale in Bournemouth next week.
Phil Pope, the reigning 300hp champion, was leaving nothing to chance when he arrived in Cardiff Bay after suffering with mechanical problems in Hull just 3 weeks prior. “I wasn’t looking forward to Cardiff because the water conditions favour the Kawis, but I like this course much better than last year so I’m confident we can take the win” explained Pope after Race 1.
Though despite leading from wire to wire in Race 1, Race Officials deemed Pope to have bypassed part of the course, which resulted in 1-minute time penalty for him and 8 other riders. When the penalties were served Pope finished in third.
Russell Marmon, who suffered a poor start came from 8th place to finish second behind Nick Thompson who took his first win of the Championship. “I can’t believe I’ve won and I beat Russell,” explained a delighted Thompson. “I love the track and the staggered start and can’t wait to get back out there this afternoon”.
When the flag dropped on Race 2 it was Richard Cable and Khris Leach dicing at the pointed end of the race. Cable got the better of Leach and was looking for his first win of the season. Meanwhile Pope made his way through the pack and in the closing laps of the 30min race passed Marmon and Cable for the lead. Race 3 saw Cable take the holeshot, but this time Rookie racer Michael Haines slotted into second. Despite being his first race in the AquaX series Haines held off Marmon and Pope for several laps in what can only be described as an epic race debut. When the results were tallied it was Pope with the win, Marmon second and Cable in third.
Going in to the final round in Bournemouth next weekend Pope leads youngster Joe Harvey by 29 points and Russell Marmon by 31 points in the 300 class, but with 60 points up for grabs it's still mathematically possible for a change at the top.
In the 200 class Dave Lee found he had the youngster Lewis Royle in his wing mirrors for most of the races. Yet despite the strong challenge coupled with a several time penalties Lee held on for the win. Nigel Chapple finished in third.
The tour now heads to Bournemouth for the Grand Finale of the 2015 P1 AquaX Championships. Action starts from 12.30 on Saturday 12th September at Pier Approach.