Twelve months ago Sam and Daisy Coleman arrived back at Heathrow on an Air India flight and the customs officer asked if they had anything to declare. “We certainly have” replied Daisy excitedly. “We’re world champions!” To reinforce the point, Sam reached into his holdall and pulled out an impressive trophy.
A week earlier the brother and sister, who were the reigning P1 SuperStock UK champions, had left their home in Pembrokeshire to fly to Mumbai to join powerboat racers from eight countries to compete in the inaugural UIM P1 SuperStock World Championship.
This weekend they travelled to Monaco, along with other 2017 UIM world champions of offshore and circuit racing, to receive their accolade at the annual UIM Awards Giving Gala at the Salle des Etoiles, Sporting Monte-Carlo. The event celebrates the best racers and successes of last season and is attended by more than 450 guests from sport, business, the boating industry and international media.
As they awaited the afternoon press conference, Sam and Daisy’s thoughts went back to the event in Mumbai last year that was the culmination of six years developing a new paradigm for the sport that showcased the best P1 SuperStock racers in the world in a superb setting. Tens of thousands of spectators around the natural amphitheatre of Mumbai’s splendid, sweeping bay, together with millions of live viewers worldwide of Sony ESPN’s live television coverage, enjoyed three days of intense racing as Powerboat P1 made its first visit to India.
Sam and Daisy completed a clean sweep of victories on the opening day and were applauded by the international media core as they entered the evening press conference. They attributed their success to fitness, setting consistent lap times and detailed race preparation. “It was a very technical course and essential to seek out clear water and choose the right line when you’re racing in a pack of 12 boats on a never-seen-before race track on water formed by an extraordinary 6,500 red and yellow buoys” explained Daisy. “Selecting when to take the compulsory pit lap was also crucial” she added.
The finale to the weekend in Mumbai was an energy-sapping 50-minute race in a temperature of 35 degrees, and the Coleman’s again recorded a hat-trick of victories to lift the world championship crown.
“We’re honoured to be here in Monte-Carlo to collect our award” said Sam as he entered the Salle des Etoiles with his sister. “The exceptional success of the inaugural Mumbai event shows that powerboat racing can be a thrilling sport that is capable of engaging sizeable new audiences.”
Photos: Chris Davies