ENERGIZA driver Sheldon Edghill said he is optimistic in the team’s chances at the 52nd edition of the TT Great Race, on August 22.
Sporting events around the world and locally are starting to resume as countries ease up on covid19 safety restrictions. The TT Powerboat Association (TTPBA) is trying to put everything in place, such as sponsorship, to make the event happen.
Energiza won the 95 mile per hour (mph) class and was the first boat to Tobago, at the 2019 edition, taking advantage of the staggered start. In the Great Race, boats range in speed from 50 mph to 130 mph with the slower boats starting first. Last year, for the first time, each class winner was recognised as the record holder in that class.
“We are confident our boat would hold together. Our biggest challenge would come from the 130 and the 110 (mph) class. If they run hard and they hold together they will obviously get there before us, but we are confident we will hold together, so we are good,” Edghill said. Edghill, who will be accompanied by throttleman Anthony Brash, said based on recent performances Energiza should be ready for the challenge.
“We ran the last regatta (in March) quite well, we did not have any issues. We could not do anything over covid but once they started easing up restrictions we have started doing work on our engine and we don’t see anything wrong with it, so we are ready to go.” Edghill and Brash were ready for the July 5 regatta, but due to covid19 restrictions the TTPBA could not get a venue for the event.
As the country slowly moves back to some sort of normalcy, Edghill said they will start to ramp up their preparations.
“The Prime Minister has said that he is going to open beaches and sporting events could occur from the 22nd (of June), so we good to go. Our preparation now is diving into the boat now that we could actually get down to the boat. Our preparation is to get to the boat and go over all the items, so now the work starts.”
The upcoming July 5 regatta also would not take place due to the restrictions on gatherings, as the regatta can attract hundreds of spectators. Regattas are races leading up to the Great Race which allow participants to test their boats against the competition.
Instead of the regatta, the TTPBA will have a poker run on July 5 which would allow the competitors to test their boats. It is called a poker run because the boats have to go to different points and teams must pick a card and the team with the best poker hand wins. No money is involved as it is simply a fun event. The event will follow the Government’s guidelines on limited gatherings. Next Monday, the Government is expected to increase gatherings from five to ten.
Edghill said his team currently has a sponsor, but he knows anything is possible in these economic times. “Sponsorship is always a concern especially during these times, but we are fortunate that we have had a sponsor that has not told us yet that they will withdraw.
Fortunately, we don’t have any major work to do on our boat, is more (buying) fuel and we think we could handle that.”