Indian rallyists take to the seas for the country’s first ever off-shore powerboat race.
For the first time ever, a P1 Powerboat race was organised in India – the Indian Grand Prix of the Seas, and the atmosphere was absolutely exhilarating. There was a huge crowd lined up on the promenade at Marine Drive in Mumbai to witness something that India has never seen before.
Set against the backdrop of the city’s beautiful skyline, the course laid out was split into two – a regular 5.7 kilometre lap and a longer lap stretching over 6 kilometre. A mandatory practice run and qualifying round on Friday was followed by two races on Saturday and the grand finale on Sunday. The race format for the weekend was as follows – the 250hp P1 Powerboats would run for two 15-lap races on Saturday with 2 long laps, and the 20-lap grand finale on Sunday with 3 long laps. The top-three finishers would score 20, 17 and 15 points, with the scores reduced by one point for each subsequent position.
The excitement was at its peak to witness the first ever Indian Grand Prix of the Seas, and giving spectators something to cheer about were two well-known Indian motorsport personalities – CS Santosh and Gaurav Gill. Both these gentlemen have proved their mettle in their respective arenas and their thrill for speed saw them participate in the Indian round of the P1 Powerboat race.
Making it worthwhile for every spectator out there were the Coleman siblings – Sam and Daisy Coleman. After taking pole position on Friday, they dominated Race 1 comfortably. Positions of the first race were inverted for the starting grid of the second race.
As the green flag waved, the no. 150 boat of the Coleman siblings, no. 99 of the Money on Mobile Marlins and the no. 95 of the Mirchi Mavericks got off to a great start. The trio fought long and hard, but, in the end, it was the Colemans who took another victory to seal their grid position for the grand finale on Sunday. The Money on Mobile Marlins took the second spot on the podium. Disaster struck the no. 95 boat of Mirchi Mavericks, as their boat toppled on the final corner of Race 2 handing over the last spot on the podium to no. 21 boat of the Lloyd Dolphins.
The grand finale was, once again, comfortably ruled by the #150 boat of the Coleman siblings. Racing against the pros, both the Indian drivers weren’t competing up ahead of the order, but they were impressive nonetheless. CS Santosh was teamed with the Colemans in the Baleno RS Boosterjets team. The Bengaluru-lad managed to score 19 points on a fine Saturday, finishing eighth and ninth respectively. That being said, with the Colemans ruling the seas in India, the Baleno RS Boosterjets comfortably stood at the top in the team standings.
Meanwhile, Gaurav Gill raced well to finished sixth in Race 1 and fifth in Race 2 to bring home a respectable score of 25 points. In fact, he was even going strong in the grand finale and was in line for an epic podium finish before his boat suffered a broken engine bracket.
Aside from mastering one form of motorsport, racing professionals are known to be adventurous. Case in point are Valentino Rossi’s adventures in the world of rallying, Toby Price’s participation in the Adelaide Clipsal 500, and the examples are endless. These racers get their kicks from anything related to speed. It’s like what legendary Formula 1 champion Ayrton Senna once said, “The danger sensation is exciting. The challenge is to find new dangers.” And this seems to hold true more than two decades later for every racing professional out there.