For the past 10 days, P750 powerboat racing teams from around the globe were competing and representing their countries at the highest international level; the “UIM P750 World Championships”. Within this elite grouping was an Irish team made up from members of Buccaneer Powerboat Racing Club and Irish Offshore Powerboat Racing Club. Colin Gaffney (Driver) Lee Casey (Co-Pilot) and Sean Dillon (Mechanic) all veterans of previous UIM European & World Championships decided to pool their talents under the banner of Team 21, and supported by The GYM (Rathgar), go to the World Championships, represent their country and hopefully bring back UIM World Championship medals to Ireland for the first time.
The competition would not be easy, what lay ahead were three very different events. The first event was a 120km race along the south coast of Cornwall, a grueling prospect in such a small boat. Team 21 has a setback and scored no points so they knew it was going to be a major challenge to get into the medals. Then on to the second event the Surf Competition where the Team felt they had the edge (can’t be as rough as Lahinch, can it?). Four races lay ahead in what turned to be high and windy surf. They found out that Team South Africa also liked the surf. In the back and forth battle that ensued no quarter was given, alas Team 21 had to settle for 2nd place, a good result but both teams knew medals were not going to be easily won.
The third and final event was the Circuit Race where everyone knew the overall result and UIM medal winners would be decided. Team 21 worked long hours into the night to get ready for this event as they damaged their engine on the previous days practice. Worry set in, would the engine last? Had the Germans a faster setup? With the prospect of four races and the loss of the long-haul points they knew they had to pull something special out of the hat. The Team got together and decided on a strategy that would see man and machine pushed to the limit. It was a strategy that paid off as they won the Circuit event which placed them ahead of the German team in the overall points giving Team 21 Ireland the UIM World Championship Bronze Medals.
Upon their win the Team stated “It’s being an amazing ten days of racing. We have put blood sweat and tears into every heat, every event, every practice day and we followed this up with long evening maintaining both man and machine. During the event we never let our passion determination and teamwork falter and to achieve a win on the circuit event and a second on the surf event against the best competitors in the world just goes to show what a few guys with determination and teamwork can achieve. We are very proud to have represented Ireland on the world stage and to bring back “UIM World Championship Medals” in the P750 Modified Class is an honor and a privilege for all of us. The team believes we have shown what can be achieved, we feel with the right support and sponsorship, Irish powerboat racing teams and clubs working together can ensure that Team Ireland competes in UIM European & World Championships into the future. In regard to our UIM Medals we hope they are the first of many.”