Thirteen year old Ben Jelf from Maidstone, Kent, yesterday (21 July) was once more on top of the winners poduim as he was crowned the UIM GT15 European Powerboat Racing Champion for the third consecutive year, making him Britain’s most successful Junior Powerboat racer ever and possibly the most successful junior racer to date in the World!
Over the 19-20 July, Jelf of the Peters & May Racing Team travelled to Kil, Sweden for the European Championships where he competed against 17 other powerboat racers from around the world in search of the European crown.
Over three heats of racing the youngster faced stiff competition against some of the world’s best junior racers from Sweden, Norway, and Estonia in a battle for the European title.
The weekends proceedings were upset by windy conditions on day one (Friday 19) causing officials to postpone the racing until Saturday meaning the pressure would be on all competitors as any incidents, damage and mistakes can be very costly in a one day competition as there is not time for repairs between heats.
Ben got his European campaign off to a flying start securing pole position in the qualifying session in which each racer had just two laps of the course to set the best qualifying time. Ben made his intentions clear early on in the competition setting a qualifying time of just over a minute, almost a second faster than his closest rival Paul Zujenkov of Estonia.
He then when on to claim his third European title by taking three clean heat wins throughout the heats getting great starts and focusing on his race until the chequered flag was raised.
Now in just his fourth year of Powerboat Racing the youngster who in 2011 became Britain’s youngest ever World Champion at just 11, has achieved unprecedented results for a British Junior Powerboat Racer claiming three European titles, six British Championship titles and Silver and Gold Medals in the World GT15 Championships along with two World Speed Records and three British Speed Records in his short career.
Whilst the youngster will be celebrating this weekend they will be short lived as his attentions now turn to the rest of the British season and retaining his two British titles and the UIM World GT15 Championships which will be held in Nottingham on the 31 August - 01 September, when Ben will be looking to reclaim the title for Britain once more.
“Securing pole position put me in a really good place to secure the title again but I knew it was going to be hard, the other racers would be pushing me all the way and the slightest mistake or error could have cost me the title. So I had to focus and in the end just raced to the best of my ability and hoped it was enough!” commented the European Champion.
“I’m really happy to have secured the European Title again it means a lot to me and all my team it shows that all our hard work is paying off! I wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of my team, family and most importantly my sponsors so this win’s for all of them! A huge thank you to Peters & May Racing, BS Motorsport, Nauticpromo, Racing Batteries, Tohatsu UK and everyone involved with The Peters & May Racing Team for making this achievement possible!”
For more information visit www.jelfracing.com