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Local trio overcome setbacks in Dorset

Easton, Butterfield and Hodsoll with English team-mates Kerry and Jack Bobins (Photograph by Kim McCallan)

Shaki Easton, M’Kai Hodsoll and Errin Butterfield overcame late setbacks to secure podium finishes at the Fortitudo Property Poole Bay 100 Offshore Powerboat Race in Dorset, England, yesterday.

The 19-foot Phantom that Easton and navigator/co-pilot Hodsoll were racing in suffered extensive structural damage to the hull 300 metres from the finish of the 71-nautical mile race.

However, the pair still managed to finish third in class A and seventh overall in the fleet of 21 featuring boats ranging from 16 to 44 feet.

At one stage of the offshore race Easton and Hodsoll were as high as second in their class before their fortunes took a turn for the worse in the ideal racing conditions, the pair limping across the line with their borrowed monohull rapidly taking on water in 1hr 26min 15sec.

“Ran second for a lap but got tired and ran third most of the race,” Easton said.

“Had a great battle with Dave Sheldon [Multispark Race Products] and put a hole in it at the end.

“Special thanks to Motorvated Racing and Devils Isles Racing and all my supporters at home.”

Butterfield’s day would also not go without incident as he and pilot Kerry Bobin, the Motorvated Racing team owner and United Kingdom Offshore Powerboat Racing Association founder, spun out in the last corner in the latter’s 20-foot Twister catamaran while leading Class B. Despite the mishap Butterfield and Bobin still managed to secure Class B honours and were second overall after the latter’s father Jack Bobin, the 2016 UIM 3A world champion, passed them near the end of the race held in the Poole Bay area.

Easton, Hodsoll and Butterfield all made history at the event as they are the first Bermudians to compete in the British Offshore Racing series sanctioned by the UKOPRA.

Yesterday’s race was the opening round for both the British Offshore Racing series and World Offshore Championship.

Meanwhile, local powerboat racing resumed yesterday with the Bermuda Power Boat Association staging a 30-minute offshore race that started and finished at Ferry Reach.

Aaron Sims and co-pilot Stephen Bridges came out on top of a two-boat battle with the team of Henry Talbot and Andrew Cottingham for class S bragging rights.

Talbot and Cottingham led for nearly two laps but suffered mechanical issues and were eventually passed by Sims and Bridges who went on to secure the victory.

Shawn Butterfield and co-pilot Alex Gibbs secured class D honours, Mark Selley and Jordan Fletcher were the top team in Class B with father and son pair Jody and Tony Carreiro taking the win in class A.

The second race was cancelled because of a low number of entries after several boats suffered mechanical issues before and during the first race, contested in choppy conditions on the North Shore.