Bermudian trio make history in British race

  • Hodsoll (front) and Easton practising in the UK this week.

(Photo by Kim McCallan)

Shaki Easton, Errin Butterfield and M’Kai Hodsoll will add a new chapter to local powerboat racing history at tomorrow’s Fortitudo Property Poole Bay 100 Offshore Powerboat Race in the United Kingdom.

The trio are the first Bermudians to compete in the British Offshore Racing series and will be keen to cap the historical occasion with solid displays in the cockpit.

Pilot Easton is competing in class A with navigator/co-pilot Hodsoll, the former St George’s and Bailey’s Bay cricketer, in a 19ft Phantom monohull owned by 2016 UIM 3A world champion Jack Bobin — who is racing in the same class and boat design.

Butterfield is competing in Class B as a co-pilot for Bobin’s son, Kerry Bobin, the Motorvated Racing team owner and United Kingdom Offshore Powerboat Racing Association founder, in the latter’s 20-foot Twister catamaran.

The 71 nautical mile race, to be held in the Poole Bay area, is sanctioned by the UKOPRA and is the opening round for both the 2018 British Offshore Racing series and World Offshore Championship.

The local trio of Easton, Butterfield and Hodsoll have been busy making the necessary adjustments coming to grips with the handling of their new rigs and acclimatising to the local conditions since their arrival in the UK on Wednesday.

“The boat I am in is completely different but I’m getting it down and it should be a very interesting race,” Easton told The Royal Gazette.

“I am driving with M’Kai who is a real navigator. He just had a crash course this morning.

“There are two late entries so the field is stacked.

“At the moment it’s flat, but I’m hoping for rough water.

“Errin and Kerry are praying for calm, but their Twister is by far the fastest boat in the class.”

Last summer Easton and rookie co-pilot-owner Butterfield dominated the local powerboat racing scene, winning all but one race they entered and were the first boat to complete the Rubis Around the Island Power Boat Race.

Meanwhile, local powerboat racing resumes tomorrow with the second round of the 2018 Bermuda Power Boat Association season being held at Ferry Reach, starting from 12 noon.

Tomorrow’s round was originally scheduled for June 3 but was cancelled because of a low number of entries.