Selley and Smith: a combination that works
David Selley and Matthew Smith ended the season in fine style after making a clean sweep of honours at the season-ending National Grand Prix, hosted by the Spanish Point Boat Club.
The pair clinched the national A Class title for the first time racing together in their 19-foot Phantom, on the way to winning the third and final race of the national series in the Great Sound on Sunday.
“The conditions were kind of calm which were favourable for us so everything worked out in our favour,” Selley, the boat’s pilot, said.
Selley and Smith won the national A Class title by a 100-point margin over the second-placed team of Ryan Davidge and Ryan Hayne, with the father-and-son team of Jody and Tony Carreiro finishing third, a further 19 points off the pace.
Sunday’s dominant display was the final act of a truly remarkable season in which Selley and Smith broke a 26-year-old A Class record on their way to class and flag honours in the Rubis Around the Island Power Boat Race.
The pair completed the circumnavigation of the island in 55min 11sec, slashing 35 seconds off the previous A Class record set in 1992 by Andrew DaCosta and co-pilot Chris Smith, the older brother of Matthew Smith.
“It’s been a good season, just kind of riding a wave and running consistent,” Selley said.
“Shaki [Easton] set the benchmark last year, so it was something to go for — it’s some stiff competition in that class.
“I knew that those guys had set a pretty high bar. But consistency, the experience from years of racing, getting along working well with Matthew and a bit of luck, which plays a role with everything, worked in our favour.”
As for the team’s racing rig, Selley said: “I’ve had experience running Phantoms before and they’re really good boats, but this is a brand-new design of Phantom, which has steps in the bottom similar to a Batboat.
“It’s a lightweight, newer design, which are very popular in Europe which I was pretty privileged to drive.”
Sadune and Rickai Raynor clinched the national B Class title, Mark Selley and Jordan Fletcher finished tied for second with the team of Cleveland Maybury and Joshua Usher while Chae Johnson and Esperanza Sabrado finished third.
Easton, who alternated co-pilots Shane Madeiros, Andrew Cottingham and Henry Talbot throughout the season, won the national D Class title by a comfortable margin over the team of Shawn Butterfield and Alex Gibbs.
The national S Class title was won by Cottingham and Talbot.
Meanwhile, Easton and Madeiros finished second overall behind Selley and Smith in Sunday’s season finale with Maybury and Usher rounding off the podium in third.