Date: Wed 20 Sep 2017

New King of the UK series

The shores of Scotland, Wales and England produced extremely difficult racing conditions but it wasn’t enough to knock Joe Harvey off his stride as he powered his way to the 2017 UK Championship title.

An outstanding record of six victories from the nine races that made up the series was more than enough to secure top spot for the 27-year-old.

Heading into the season with the 2016 International Cup under his belt, he flew out of the blocks in round one comfortably passing everyone in the field to take all three victories over Russell Marmon and Tim Batte on the opening weekend of the season in Greenock.

Marmon and Batte were spearheading the leading pack on rough waters in Milford Haven but they once again had to settle for positions behind Harvey in race one and two.

Calmer conditions on Sunday gave others the chance to close the gap and Harvey fell off the top for the first time in this year’s competition, crossing the line second behind Batte, but it was still more than enough to take the weekend victory.

With a 39-point lead and a maximum of just 75 up for grabs on the final weekend of the season, Harvey had one hand on the trophy and either an extremely uncharacteristic performance or mechanical problems would stop the Wolverhampton-based rider from sealing title success.

While it all seemed to be going in Harvey’s favour, it took a dramatic twist in the harsh conditions of Torquay.

In Saturday's opening race, he extended his points lead with another win but, before race two, his ski was damaged in transportation and had to settle for third despite winning the race - he incurred a two-place penalty for changing his ski mid-event. Despite his lowest finish of the season, it was still enough to secure him the title before hitting the waters for the final race of the series.

He was the first man over the line in race three but after being forced to swap jet ski for the second time that weekend he was again deducted two places to move him down to second in the weekend standings for the first time in the 2017 UK series.

The final standings showed Harvey’s dominance in the series as he finished the campaign with a resounding 41-point gap over second-placed Marmon with a phenomenal two-thirds of races won.

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