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Powerboaters in row over engine size

Tonka Simpson’s Round the Island Race divisional title is still hanging in the balance.

The 25-year old powerboat racer clinched FB Class honours in Sunday’s annual thrash and finished third overall for the second straight year.

However, post-race celebrations were muted after senior rival Stephen DeSilva (Team Point Mart) filed a protest, claiming that Simpson’s engine had been “illegally” modified.

Simpson, though, vehemently denies racing with an oversized engine block and is confident his name will be cleared once an inspection by Bermuda Powerboat Association (BPBA) authorities has been conducted.

He told

The Royal Gazette: “I can’t wait to get inspected because I haven’t done anything wrong. I raced by the rules and have nothing to hide.

“They (Point Mart) are trying to say I have a 200 horsepower block and not a 150 because I ran faster than I did last year.

“The reason why I am running faster is because I bought a better propeller, which gave me the advantage during Sunday’s race.

“Last year I was averaging 65 miles per hour and this year I averaged 69.”

DeSilva, who finished runner-up behind Simpson in the FB Class, has decided not to comment on the ongoing dispute prior to the BPBA’s final ruling that’s expected to be announced later this week.

Association commodore Brian Smith, said: “We are actually going to have a meeting on Thursday to address the situation.

“Basically Point Mart is protesting because they feel there was something illegal with Tonka Simpson’s motor. We tried to sort things out on Sunday but it didn’t go very well and so it still needs to be addressed and sorted out.”

This year saw Bobby DeCosta and Chris Wells claim line and D Class honours on a altered racecourse.

The course was slightly changed after BPBA failed to obtain special permission to race in the no wake zone located between the main island and Five Star Island in the Great Sound.

Smith, said: “We didn’t get authorisation to race around the Island on paper. And if we did race around the Island without permission then it we would’ve been illegal.

“We actually ended up racing in front of Five Star Island and unfortunately it was just one of those things.”

Finishing second behind the victorious DeCosta and Wells were D Class rivals Graham Sutherland and McNeil Wilson.

A Class honours went to Chris Worboys and Steve Sherwin, Mark Selley and Jordan Every claimed B Class honours, while Stuart Durham and Henry Trott won the C Class.

Brian Lightbourne and Kenny Mathie ruled supreme in the Thundercats, David Selley and Andrew Osbourne claimed the D Stock Class title, Ricky Sousa and Stephen Bridges won the S Class, while P Class honours went to Phillip Correia and Cameron Harris.

Provisional results in the FB Class have Tonka Simpson and Seth Chetty finishing first, Stephen DeSilva and son Brandon in second and Jamal Williams and Rodney Denbroke in third.

Tonka Simpson's F55 with crew Seth Cletty pictured druing Round the Island Race. Simpson's class rival claims F55 was powered by an alleged illegal engine.

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Published August 17, 2011 at 10:06 am (Updated August 17, 2011 at 10:06 am)

Powerboaters in row over engine size

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