Boost for junior powerboat programme
The Bermuda Power Boat Association has overcome a major stumbling block in their efforts to revive its junior programme after successfully applying for a waiver on legislation restricting youngsters under the age of 16 to operating an outboard motor no bigger than 6hp.
The Bermuda Port Authority granted the waiver, paving the way for youngsters aged 9 to 15 to compete with a 15hp engine.
“We are excited about that development,” Robert Cardwell, the BPBA commodore, said.
“With the children now able to race bigger engines, this will build on the excitement but also will broaden the range of skill development we can expose them to. The BPBA has been trying to get this authority for some time.”
The BPBA have opted to have youngsters compete in the L7 racing class, which was designed in Sweden and is similar to the Windrace Hull.
“We have ordered the mould from Sweden to start producing them here,” Cardwell said. “Now we just need the sponsors to get the boats built and up and running.”
Cardwell hopes to have the boats ready towards the end of this season, but if not, said the junior programme could instead be launched next winter and “bleed right into the 2019 race schedule”.
Reviving the association’s junior programme, which has remained dormant in recent years, is one of Cardwell’s top priorities. “We believe that BPBA needs to have a junior programme to secure the longevity of the club,” he said.
“Everyone agrees that this is a much-needed entity to add to the BPBA portfolio and now we will be able to compete with the other motor sports and their junior programmes.”
Cardwell said the new racing class will be expanded to the adult class, who will compete with a bigger 30hp engine.
“The hull is rated for a maximum 30 horsepower and we have members very interested in racing a 30hp class with this hull,” he said. “It will be a very fast boat with a 30hp on it, which will make for some extreme inshore racing.”