P1 racing: Baleno RS claims honours

It was the first time in the history of P1 racing that boats were made to do 20 laps in the third and final race.

Baleno RS which won the team championship in Mumbai.   -  Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

Baleno RS walked away with the honours at the Nexa P1 Powerboat Racing, clinching the team championships by accumulating 89 points over three races. Leading the six-team pack after two races on Saturday, the two boats (Sam Coleman & Daisy Coleman, C. S. Santosh & Martin Robinson) managed 20 combined points in the 20-lap third race along the 5.2km course built on water off the Marine Drive. It was the first time in the history of P1 racing that boats were made to do 20 laps in the third and final race. Never before have Panther class boats completed 50 laps in two race days (first and second races were 15-lappers).

The Coleman pair notched a hat-trick of victories, including the third (worth 20 points) on Sunday. Santosh-Robinson duo chipped in with 10 points. The combined effort earned Baleno RS the title and $50,000 prize money. Daisy (navigator), brother Sam (driver), Robinson (navigator) are powerboat professionals. The Indian, Santosh, making his debut in P1, did not appear to be a first-timer and in the process, ended up as part of the champion team. Lucky Dolphins were just two points adrift (cumulative 87) to take the second place. MoneyOnMobile Martins (79) finished third.

Sam Coleman and C. S. Santosh trained under the same person in Southampton (former world champion Neil Holmes). The former was preparing for a P1 event, while the latter was learning from scratch to handle a powerboat. Sam and Santosh strengthened the comradeship further when Baleno RS chose both drivers to handle the boat in Mumbai. The Briton’s experience in P1 racing helped the rookie Indian to raise his level. “I had to complement them (Colemans) and worked hard at the concept. I enjoyed powerboat racing and when you enjoy sport, you become better.”

Santosh’s fitness, developed over a career in two-wheelers, became the decisive factor. “He is fitter than most of us (powerboat drivers) and surely fitter than me. You give him time in the water and he will deliver,” said Sam Coleman. Martin Robinson, also British and navigator for the Indian, said: “I knew he was a local hero (in motorsport). I knew I was in the same team as a real athlete.”

India’s second driver in the Yachting Association of India-governed event, rally ace Gaurav Gill, ended in fourth place as a team, representing Ultra Sharks in the three-day P1, conducted by Procam International for the first time in Indian waters.

Team championships list (placings/combined third race per team/overall aggregate)

1. Baleno RS (Sam Coleman & Daisy Coleman + C S Santosh & Martin Robinson 30) 89.

2. Lloyd Dolphins (Craig Wilson & William Enriquez + Stuart Cureton & Sara Cureton 30) 87.

3. MoneyOnMobile Martins (James Norvill & Christian Parsons-Young + Glynn Norvall & Lee Norvall 27) 79.

4. Ultra Sharks (Gaurav Gill & George Ivey + Neil Jackson & Jason Jackson 23) 64.

5. Mirchi Mavericks (David Taft & Fredrick Bastian  + John Donnelly & Kevin Burdock 8) 45

6. HVR Racing (Darren Nicholson & Giovanni Carpetilla + Frank Silva & Tony Ianotta 19) 34.

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