Bermuda crew vow to bounce back after technical issues end world championships
Bermuda’s best powerboaters David Selley and Steven Bridges were left dejected after severe technial malfunctions caused them to withdraw from both their races at the World Offshore Key West Championships in Florida.
Hopes were high for a big performance after the team had finished fourth on their debut at this level in September but their best-laid plans were first hit by a tropical storm slamming into Florida and then problem with their boat
“It was a busy week and there were lots of people around but we felt as prepared as anybody and for the first time it crossed our minds that we had a top-three boat and we could do really well down here.
“Then the storm rolled through, Wednesday’s racing was cancelled and there were so many classes with 60 boats registered, 13 in our class, and we looked forward to racing on the Friday.”
That Friday race was not one to remember with a poor start followed by water leaking into their boat
“Unfortunately, for the first race the wind was still up,” Selley said. “it was really rough and there was some big, big water. We raced and got a really bad start, it was all very disorganised.
“They were basically saying everybody had a lane to go in at the start. We went in our lane but nobody else was where they were supposed to be. We started working our way through the field and started overtaking some boats but we didn’t even complete a lap when the escape hatch in the floor burst open and we were taking on water with the rough seas. We had to come in and get craned.”
After spending some time fixing the boat, Selley and Burgess were expecting better things in their second race but were ultimately left feeling gutted.
“The sea had calmed by then and it was basically a pond,“ Selley said. With that comes set-up changes, you need to change engine heights, the propellors and it’s a consant moving target, no two days are the same.
“We had a fairly good set-up with the limited access we have to parts and propellors and stuff but I still feel we had a top-three boat. We got a really good start but more or less straightaway on the run to turn one, not even ten seconds into the run we had overheating alarms going off, we cleared the codes but it just kept happening and all the issues just reared their head.”
Beaten but undeterred, this world championships setback has only spurred them on to be more competitive this year.
“We feel we were just as good as anyone down there but it’s so disappointing that luck wasn’t on our side,” Selley said.
“In our preparation, we did everything that we could possibly do with top-notch equipment but that’s racing. There is always more disappointment than glory unfortunately. We’ll spend a couple of days looking at the boat and work during the off-season to compete in all those Florida races next year.”