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David Selley and Steven Bridges seal maiden Around the Island title as a team

David Selley and Keith Bridges on the way to claiming a maiden Rubis Around the Island Powerboat Race title together (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

David Selley and Keith Bridges overcame adversity to claim a maiden Rubis Around the Island Powerboat Race title competing together in their 28-foot catamaran.

The pair claimed S class honours and were the first boat to complete the annual circumnavigation of the island in 33min 44sec.

Selley and Bridges entered the race at the eleventh hour and their day appeared to be over after suffering mechanical problems.

The pair contemplated retiring but decided to soldier on which ultimately proved to be a wise decision as they went on to claim class honours and overall bragging rights for being the first back to Ferry Reach.

“We had a few problems and the boat just about made it back,” co-pilot Bridges told The Royal Gazette.

“We were having a hard time getting our speed up and at one point we considered stopping and David said let’s keep at it, and I am glad we did because it worked out for us.

“Between Five Star Island and Dockyard we had electrical problems with the motor but we pushed through and won our first Around the Island Race together.”

Selley and Bridges also had to contend with the choppy conditions on the South Shore that took a heavy toll on the fleet.

“As usual, North Shore and the Hamilton Harbour is always calm,” Bridges added. “But it started to get nasty at Pompano and then real snotty all the way down South Shore.”

The pair initially had no intention of competing in the race this year.

“We decided let’s go and pulled the boat out Friday,” driver Selley said. “It was a last minute decision.

“I am glad we decided to race because it’s probably the last one for this boat which is up for sale.”

Last year’s S class winners Andrew Cottingham and Henry Talbot finished second this time around in 33:44.30 with the remaining team in the division of Jauza James and Daric Seymour crossing the line in 47:34.

Also savouring a maiden win competing together were father and son pair Craig Nesbitt Jr and Sr who led the D class across the line in 1hr 3min 26sec.

“It feels amazing,” driver Craig Jr said. “Third time trying in D class and first time finishing first in any class.”

The pair also had their work cut out navigating their catamaran in the trying conditions.

“It got choppy at Daniel’s Head and at Pompano it was on,” Craig Jr added. “We have a 21-foot cat so you can’t really run in the rough.

“We probably did 40 miles an hour top speed coming down South Shore. It was survival of the fittest.”

The father-and-son pair were the only team among the four entries in the D class to complete the race.

Brandon DeSilva and Blake Burgess made history as the first winners in the new BV class having led the five boats in their division across the finish in 55:54.

The pair also endured their share of struggles with mechanical problems and coming to grips with the rough conditions competing in their Phantom boat.

“We had a little mishap, the motor overheated,” driver DeSilva said. “We had to shut it down and let the temperature drop and once it did we kicked it back over.

“South Shore was pretty rough and a couple of times we almost went swimming.

“But we managed to work our way through the rough and it so happened we came in first.”

The team of Patrick Stamper and Marcus Pimentel were second in the BV class in 56:41 with Cleveland Maybury and Joshua Thompson rounding off the podium in 1:08:00.

Shane Madeiros and Josh Holder was the only A class entry to finish the race in 57:57 and Rickai and Ricky Raynor in the B class in 1:10:07.

Chad Sutherland and Lee Wilson, the only entry in the C class, finished in 47:06.

This year’s race featured seventeen boats of which ten managed to go the distance.

Maybury retained his title after winning the jet-ski race for the third consecutive year in 30:26, with Jahlae Raynor and Jayson Simons taking second and third.

Santiago Roe was the top driver in the junior race series with Ryan McLean finishing second and Bakari Smith third.

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Published August 14, 2023 at 7:58 am (Updated August 15, 2023 at 8:06 am)

David Selley and Steven Bridges seal maiden Around the Island title as a team

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