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Ben’s Back

Chris Davies on 27th February 2022

During the SWSC 2021 Awards Presentation evening it was announced that Ben Jelf is set to go racing again when he makes his welcome return to the 2022 CPA Formula Grand Prix British Championship.

During his brief hiatus from competing on the water he spent a lot of time crewing for his father Colin at both National and International F2 meetings. He also supported both Jelf Racing drivers Ian Blacker and George Elmore with the latter securing the CPA GT30 British Championship.

It also included a week up at Coniston, where his expertise and support helped his long-term friend the 2021 Formula GP Light British Champion Jonathan Brewer achieve a new world speed record along with two British records at the event.

I have enjoyed being a race mechanic after all it’s my daily job and so it comes as second nature to me. Having raced in those classes means I can relate to a driver’s issue. Often when they describe what the problem is the chances are that it’s happened when I raced so finding a solution is slightly easier. It still made winning Mechanic of the Year a complete surprise though, but I appreciate it very much.

Now after experiencing the demanding work needed to be a racing crew member, he has decided that it’s actually not for him.

After a while I realised that I missed that adrenaline rush when you are sat in the cockpit waiting for the lights to change.

Moving into Formula GP (F2) and leaving Formula GP Light (F4) behind will not come as a complete shock as back in 2018 Jelf set a Formula 2 speed record of 124.38 mph using a Molgaard hull. So, it won’t come a surprise to learn that once again Jelf will be racing a Molgaard hull this year.

I will race a similar Molgaard to the one that my father (Colin Jelf) uses although as you know each hull has its own individual characteristics and this one will need to be modified to suit my own style of racing. I’m certainly not a stranger to this formula as I’ve had plenty of test sessions and I’ve competed in a few club races. The next few months will allow me to get reacquainted with the class so that I’m ready to compete at a national level and depending on how that goes you might even see me at a UIM F2 World Championship round.

Lining up alongside his father, a three times UIM F2 World Champion won’t be a new experience for him either as the pair have previously raced in Formula 4 although his Colin did finish ahead of him.

It’s tough referring to him as a rival but at the end of the day when we are on the water, he’s just another race number.

Just who will come out on top of this father and son duel is anyone’s guess for the moment and who will back off first when racing returns around the tight Carr Mill Dam circuit in Lancashire, England at the end of May?

2022 CPA British Powerboat Championship


28/29 May – Carr Mill Dam – Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club

23/24 July – Oulton Broad – Lowestoft & Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club

17/18 September – Stewartby Lake – Stewartby Powerboat & Hydroplane Racing Club


2022 CPA British Sprint Championship


13/14 August – Stewartby Lake – Stewartby Powerboat & Hydroplane Racing Club


Powerboat Racing World will be bringing you updates and race coverage throughout the 2022 championship and we wish those competing a safe and successful season.

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