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Stuart is the Powerboat GP HEMS Critical Care Paramedic and a PADI Rescue Diver
Vastly experienced hydroplane racer Nigel Edwards is a very busy guy
Stewartby local GT15 competitor Elliot Fleet
Competitors from all the national classes will be gearing up for a crack at this single venue championship
When the Cowes - Monte Carlo and London Monte Carlo were trying the drum up business they both bandied around entry lists of 50 plus
Sunshine and close racing in equal measure

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30-Jul-14 12:53
Stuart is the Powerboat GP HEMS Critical Care Paramedic and a PADI Rescue Diver
Chris Davies

Stuart Cooper is hoping for a quiet weekend at Stewartby

One person who is really hoping for a quiet weekend at Stewartby is Stuart Cooper from Immediate Care Paramedics. Having been with the NHS for over twenty years both as an Adult and Paediatric Critical Care Nurse and as a HEMS Air Ambulance Critical Care Paramedic, he has been exposed to many situations and critical incidents which enables him to deliver a high standard of Pre-hospital care.

“I have been involved with powerboat racing for nearly ten years now, both as a HEMS Critical Care Paramedic and as a PADI Rescue Diver” said Cooper. “The role I undertake at Powerboat GP events is that of Medical Officer. This role along side the Rescue Officer ensures that the events are run to the highest possible standard of safety for the pilots, their crew and the officials at the event.”

Stuart Cooper at Nottingham last year

As Medical Officer he ensure that the event is covered by medical staff that are specifically trained in powerboat rescue and resuscitation and that equipment is available for any incident that could or may arise at any stage of the race weekend. 

“The equipment we carry ranges from a basic plaster to being able to provide full trauma life support and resuscitation of adults or paediatrics to a standard that you would expect from a land or Air Ambulance resource.” 

To date Cooper hasn’t had to manage any life changing or life threatening emergencies. “I think this is probably due to the ever increasing education and training of the drivers, the standard of boat scrutineering at events and of course the development of safer boats, inclusion of safety cells, crash boxes and overall boat construction.”

Events at last years Formula 2 World Championships round in Nottingham proved these issues. “During the weekend, we had a series of what visually looked like horrific crashes but thankfully all the drivers were able to walk away with minor injuries.”

Being qualified to undertake both the rescue of drivers and then continue their care as a Critical Care Paramedic allows him to be able to understand the mechanism of incidents. With that knowledge he’s able treat the patients according to national, local and personal guidelines or instructions and ensures that any adult or child who requires his services will receive a high standard of professional medical care.

Although always a welcome and reassuring sight in the race pits, those competitors are also hoping that they won’t be calling on his services in the near future.

30-Jul-14 12:50
Vastly experienced hydroplane racer Nigel Edwards is a very busy guy
Chris Davies

Nigel Edwards in the Monohull T850 class - Photo: Chris Davies

Vastly experienced hydroplane racer Nigel Edwards who in addition to his own racing is keen to see the sport move forward, so he took on the role of main Junior Training Officer a few years ago and has trained more than ten juniors in the last two years, most of whom are now successful, or soon to be, national competitors.

Edwards own racing career started back in 1989 in a Crescent Stock 500 Hydroplane. A year later he moved to the OSY400 class where he competed at national level and at two World Championships in Sweden. He then raced SS45 Hydroplanes and took the national speed record on Lake Windermere at 75.13mph which still stands today. He moved into 0350 Hydroplanes in 1995 and had tremendous success in the class both in the UK and internationally, his most impressive years being 2007 when, competing against twenty seven other racers, he took the bronze medal in the four round UIM European Championship series. In 2002 he set the national speed record on Lake Windermere at 104.16mph and that year he also secured bronze in the World Championships in Italy. He still holds the accolade of highest placed British racer in a laydown hydroplane World Championship. His love of the class has seen him travel far and wide across both Europe and America, unfortunately though, a lack of engine reliability has meant he no longer sees himself competitive at the top international level and he has been forced to concentrate solely on home championships in the last four years. 

Despite his ongoing passion for hydroplanes and his full support of the class at national level, during the 2012 season he competed in the GT30 National Championship, where he found the class much harder to race than the hydro “they make it look easy, but they are a nightmare to control” said Edwards.

In 2013 he was offered the chance to run nationally in the Monohull T850 class with the kind loan of boat and engine from “Friends in the North” at the LPRC club. It was a steep learning curve but one which Nigel took on with enthusiasm and he had some tight battles with fellow racer Jason Brewer throughout the season, taking fifth place overall in the National Championship and fourth in the Sprint Championship. 

This year has seen him continue in T850 with a different boat and engine, also kindly loaned from friends within the sport, and he took third place at the Lowestoft national followed by consistent fourth places at Lancashire, Kingsbury and Chasewater. He now has his sights firmly set on the Sprint title at home club Stewartby this weekend.

Nigel thoroughly enjoys racing in this “back to grass roots” class, but finds it as challenging as the hydroplane for different reasons. “Having raced hydroplanes for twenty five years I know how to best handle them on the water but the mono is completely different” he said. “A year after taking up the class it still throws some difficulties at me which I am keen to overcome as I aim for the front of the pack. It’s also hard going physically, sitting in the mono might look easier than laying down but I’m used to racing on flat calm waters and not being thrown around every inch of the circuit which I do in that mono.”

When not in a boat himself, he is an active member of Stewartby Powerboat Committee and is very much involved with pre-race and on the day organisation and preparation. He is also the Chief Scrutineer within the club and also gets involved with decision making at a higher level as he sits on the Circuit Racing Committee as the Stewartby delegate. As if that’s not enough, he can also be seen supporting his twelve year old niece, Tiegen Goodfellow, in the GT15 class at various races. 

30-Jul-14 12:46
Stewartby local GT15 competitor Elliot Fleet
Chris Davies

GT15 competitor Elliot Fleet - Photo: Chris Davies

Stewartby local GT15 competitor Elliot Fleet , who lives near by in Ampthill, has had a fabulous season so far in the Powerboat GP RYA National Championship, having taken third place the first round at Lowestoft in early May and second place at the next round in Lancashire at the end of May. He then continued his fight for podium positions at the next two rounds in the West Midlands during July but just missed out on a podium place on both occasions. However, his earlier results leave him in good stead to take the fight for third overall in the National Championship at the final round at the end of September back at his home club at Stewartby.

Fleet started his powerboat career at the end of 2011 when he completed his initial junior training session, a present for him from his father Steve, who only noticed the powerboat section during an ‘Open Day’ at Stewartby and felt sorry that nobody was visiting their display.

Steve no doubt rues that day that as his son immediately got the “racing bug” and the following year saw them purchase their own outfit. Fleet has never missed a meeting at Stewartby since. In 2012 he took a superb fourth place at the UK Masters and was named ‘Best SWSC Newcomer’ at the end of the season.

The following year he went one better at the UK Masters finishing on the podium in third spot, he also took the SWSC GT15 Club Championship title that season. In September that year he made his international race debut when he competed at the GT15 World Championships held in Nottingham. 

Fleet will be keen to take the Sprint title in all its glory as his season goes from strength to strength but faces some strong competition from fellow club members Ben Jelf and Thomas Mantripp both major title contenders. Mantripp will be defending the Sprint title from 2013 and is also currently leading the National Championship with Jelf hot on his heels.

Fleet can also expect some tough competition from the young lady driver Jess Beaumont, from Milton Keynes, who has taken podiums at every national event so far and will be looking to finally take the top spot.

30-Jul-14 12:14
Competitors from all the national classes will be gearing up for a crack at this single venue championship
Chris Davies

This weekend Powerboat GP moves on to Stewartby

This weekend sees the annual RYA Powerboat GP Sprint Championship take place at Stewartby Lake set in the beautiful Forest of Marston Vale in Bedfordshire. Competitors from all the national classes will be gearing up for a crack at this single venue championship.
The Powerboat GP RYA Sprint Championship will be held at the Stewartby Watersports Club, Green Lane, Stewartby, Bedford, MK43 9LY. This year car parking will be at Kimberley College opposite the lake and will cost £5 per car. 
Entry to the event will be by programme only and these will cost £5 each and can be purchased on the gate. Children go free when accompanied by an adult.
If you are a member of Stewartby Powerboat and Hydroplane Racing Club event entry will be free but you must have your member’s card with you and parking charges will still apply.



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