Ben becomes Britain's youngest World speed record holder
At the same time raises over £2000 for charity...
In a year that has already seen eleven year old Ben Jelf from Maidstone, Kent declared Britain’s youngest ever World and European Powerboat Racing Champion, he last week (31 October – 04 November) went one step further by becoming the Britain’s youngest World Powerboat Speed Record holder at the 41st annual Coniston Powerboat Records Week in Cumbria.
Not content with gaining the much sort after title he also managed to raise over £2000 for the Everyman Cancer Campaign at the same time. In what was an action packed week 191 record attempts were made by 41 competitors. Records were set and broken some 46 times, resulting in six World and 16 National records being submitted for approval to the UIM and RYA, the governing bodies of powerboat racing.
New national record By Thursday, Ben, who already has a string of titles to his name that most powerboat racers only dream of including, one World, one European and four RYA British titles to his name in just three years of racing, had set a new British RYA GT15 record and was inching closer to the World Record. Having waited for the optimum conditions for his boat and style of driving, which presented themselves on Thursday morning, Ben took to the water for the first run of the day.
Ben clinches the World record The Jelf Racing Team waited anxiously as the results came in knowing the boat was capable of the speed from an earlier one way run in the week! With fingers crossed the Officer of the Day announced Ben Jelf as the new GT15 World & British speed record holder at 42.92mph. However, after discussions amongst the team Ben felt he could still get some more speed and wanted another go to break his new title. So in a fantastic finale the eleven year old powerboating ace was once more back out on the water and managed to improve on his world record time in the GT15 class to 43.11mph.
Overwhelmed Ben told us: “I feel really overwhelmed at the moment. At one point I was going to give up but I just kept on trying. I’m still really shocked with what I’ve achieved. “It takes lots of concentration when you’re speeding along but it makes me really excited too. I’m so happy with what I’ve achieved today and I would like to thank my Mum and Dad and the whole of Team Jelf for their support. I’d also like to thank everybody that donated money to my charity campaign.” Ben also established a new British record for the S250 Class at 31.92mph.
Doing his bit for charity Ben like his dad Colin and Uncle Owen followed into powerboat racing after his Grandfather Ted who began racing in 1966. With both of Ben’s grandfathers suffering from prostate cancer he decided to use his record attempt to raise money and awareness for the Everyman Cancer Campaign. The frequency of male cancer is rising rapidly, one man dies every hour from prostate cancer in the UK and testicular cancer is now the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15-44 which could affect over 56% of RYA Powerboat racers.
£46 per mile per hour! With online donations, a swear jar amongst racers at Coniston and a donations bucket by his side as he kept up with his school work during the week Ben successfully raised well over £2000 for the charity. That works out at approximately £46 per mile per hour!
Ben Jelf is off to Coniston Records Week !
RYA Powerboat Racing Champion Ben Jelf (11) from Maidstone, Kent is aiming to become the fastest 11 year old on water when he takes part at Coniston Records Week in the bid to set a new World Speed Record in the GT15.
From 31 October to 4 November UK Powerboat Racers from all over the country, including Ben, will head to Coniston Water in Cumbria for the 41st Annual Coniston Records Week, in the bid to set new National and World speed records.
For almost a hundred years Powerboat record attempts have been made on several of the English lakes including Ullswater, Windermere and Coniston Water. Following the introduction of the Windermere speed limit in early 2005 and after a good deal of effort from many volunteers, Records Week 2005 took place on Coniston Water over a newly surveyed kilometre course.
It will take poise, skill and determination from this young racer to beat the current record of 40.92mph set by Sweden’s S. Rothman in 2008. But if his record attempt is successful he will join the famous record attempts of Sir Henry Segrave, Sir Malcolm Campbell and Donald Campbell in the history books.
Ben has already secured his place in history in 2011 by becoming Britain’s youngest World Powerboat Racing Champion when he secured the GT15 World title back in June just two days after his 11th Birthday.
He then when on to secure the GT15 European Championship as well as retain two British RYA titles in the JT250 Class. At the age of just 11 and in just three short years of racing Ben has achieved what most Racers strive their whole lifetimes to achieve.
Alongside his World Record bid Ben is also hoping to raise money and awareness for Everyman Cancer Campaign. The incidence of male cancer is rising rapidly, but awareness remains low. Everyman works to raise awareness and fund research into testicular and prostate cancer.
Ben explains: “Both of my grandfathers have Prostate Cancer and are looked after and receive first class treatment from the Doctors. Charities like the Everyman campaign help make this treatment possible by funding research and raising awareness of male cancer.
“If I can help raise awareness and money while hopefully setting a new World Record, than that’s great!”
Ben’s achievements so far this year have been fantastic! His grandfather, Ted, started racing in 1966 and along with his father and Uncle, Ben has followed in his footsteps into the sport of powerboat Racing.
“Ben has had a phenomenal year and with both his grandfathers both suffering from cancer he wants to put his achievements to good use and raise money and awareness for a charity that is close to his heart.
Testicular cancer is now the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15-44 and with over 56% of RYA Powerboat racers falling into that group, we’ll be backing Ben all the way in his campaign and record attempt and hope that both are really successful”, commented RYA Powerboat Racing Officer, Nicola Drummond.
Making him World, European and twice British Champion for 2011 !
RYA PRESS RELEASE
Powerboat racing wonder kid, Ben Jelf, secured his second British powerboat racing title of 2011 last weekend (24/25 September) in the final rounds of the British RYA Circuit Powerboat Championships becoming the 2011 British RYA JT250 Champion.
Run over four rounds throughout the season, the championship has seen eight youngsters challenge for the British title. Facing a variety of conditions at the different venues all the young competitors raced with dedication, promise and experience beyond their years.
The final weekend Heading into the final weekend in the JT250 class just two points separated championship leader Teague Stroud (13, Lowestoft) and 2011 GT15 World Champion Ben Jelf (11, Maidstone). It was clear the battle would be intense and would go down to wire, with only one reigning victorious.
Jelf secured pole position with the fastest lap time in qualifying meaning only one point now separated the two young racers. With gusting winds present racing was taxing for the seven youngsters competing. With three heats to complete Jelf secured the first win of the weekend but it was Tom Yallop (13, Beccles) that would secure the second and third heat wins to take the weekend win with Ben Jelf in second and Teague Stroud in third. With the results decided it was became a waiting game as the calculations were completed.
Another title secured
Second place meant Ben Jelf had done enough to secure another British RYA title, making the formidable 11 year World, European and twice British Champion for 2011!
“Teague and Thomas have pushed me every step of the way this season, it could just have easily been one of them that won the championship but I’m glad it was me! Everyone’s raced really well. Teague had the lead on me going into this race but I knew if I focused there was the chance I could win”, explained Ben.
For Mum and Dad
“This win was for my Mum and Dad, the rest of Team Jelf Racing and my sponsor BS Marine Sport; without their support and guidance it wouldn’t have been possible”
Ben and Team Jelf Racing’s attentions now turn to Coniston Records week where he will look to complete the perfect season with a World Speed Record in the GT15 Class.
Astonishing young man RYA Powerboat Racing Senior Administrator Nikki Drummond praised Ben’s achievements: “Ben’s an astonishing young man at the age of just 11 he’s achieved what many racers strive to achieve their whole racing careers.
Not only has he retained his two British titles from 2010, he’s also received international recognition off the highest level claiming both a World and European Powerboat title in just his third year of racing.
“There’s only one way forward for Ben now and that’s upwards! With the support he gets from his family and team as well as from the other competitors he’s destined for great things within the sport. It’s an honor to know such a fantastic young individual”
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN SPONSORING BEN FOR HIS WOLRD RECORD ATTEMPT IN NOVEMBER OR FOR THE 2012 RACING SEASON - PLEASE CONTACT : Jennifer Jelf on 07958133880 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Owen Jelf – finishes 7th in F2 World Championship
More Bad luck in France puts an early end to Owen’s racing season.
Last weekend, Owen & team made their way to Evian, France for the F2 European Championship and final round of the F2 World Championship that was being held on the 17 & 18 September.
Putting the recent troubles of his previous home race to the back of his mind, Owen started the free practice on Saturday and the boat was well on pace to claiming a top spot in qualifying.But sadly – that’s all he managed to achieve………
Whilst approaching the right hand turn of the circuit, the transom snapped on the back of Owen’s boat causing the engine to fall off and the boat to be wildly out of control as there was no steering.
Thankfully nobody was hurt and no other drivers were affected by the incident. The engine was thankfully still attached to the connecting cables, although completely submerged under water and the boat did sustain some damage.
The above events put an end to Owen’s racing for the weekend and although he is disappointed he has vowed that he will be back and ready to fight for the championship in 2012.Despite all of the odds, Owen still finished 7th overall in the F2 World Championship.
Jelf Racing send huge Congratulations to Erik Stark from Sweden who was crowned the 2011 UIM F2 World & European Champion.
Ben Jelf Wins The 2011 JT250 British Sprint Championship !
Third championship title in as many months for eleven year old 'Ben Jelf '
RYA PRESS RELEASE
It was championship title number three for the powerboat racing youngster Ben Jelf from Maidstone when he was crowned 2011 RYA British JT250 Sprint Champion.
The 11 year old from the Stewartby Powerboat Racing Club, Bedford did battle against seven other junior racers in the bid to clinch the title at Stewartby Watersports Club over the weekend of 6-7 August.
The young competitors competed for the title of British Sprint Champion over 3 rounds of racing in conditions that were less than favourable. With cross winds on the lake creating taxing racing conditions which some of the adult competitors fell foul to, the Juniors held their own, racing to the conditions they were faced with and showing the crowds their skill and determination.
Continuing his winning form from his recent World and European Championship titles Ben took another clean sweep of wins in his heats to take his third championship title for the 2011 season and his third British Title in just three seasons of racing.
Everything to race for
Ben is still in contention for the 2011 RYA JT250 British Championship, currently sitting two points behind Championship Leader Teague Stroud and with just two rounds left there is still everything to race for.
(L) 3rd Teague Stroud (c) 1st Ben Jelf (R) 2nd Tom Yallop
“Once again we’re very proud of Ben!” commented Dad, three times World F2 Champion, Colin Jelf. “The conditions were tough this weekend for all of the juniors but they all handled it really well. All we ask of Ben is that he enjoys himself!
He continued: “He went out this weekend and drove to the best of his ability in the conditions he was presented with and got the job done. Britain’s Youngest ever World Champion, European Champion and now a British title in his 3rd season of racing, his mum and I couldn’t be prouder of him!”
Ben held off strong competition from Lowestoft and Oulton Broad’s Teague Stroud and Thomas Yallop and narrowly averted disaster in the second heat when he hooked on the bottom of the course but managed to correct himself and maintain the lead to take the second heat win. A further win in the third heat saw him claim the 2011 RYA British Sprint Championship title for the second year consecutively.
Owen Jelf’sOptimax test ends in disaster in UK Sprint Championship
Test Session disaster creates major setback for Owen ….
After finally switching engines in his quest for the 2011 F2 World Championship title – Owen Jelf headed to the Stewartby Watersports Club over the 6/7 August for the British Sprint Championships which he planned to use as a much needed test session before the final F2 Championship round in Evian, France.
After a fantastic start in the first heat – disaster struck while he was challenging Paul Balfour for the lead of the race on the 3rd Turn. Both boats collided into the turn which resulted in a spectactular triple barrol-role from Owen.
Thankfully, due to very high safety standards within our sport, both drivers were unhurt and Paul sustained minimal damage to his boat. Owen however, did not get off so lightly and had substantial damage to his boat and power-steering.
Fortunately, Owen had the full Jelf Crew on hand to dry the Engine out, repair the structural damage and replace the steering so that he was able and ready to participate in the final heat on Sunday.
All went well in the final heat and Owen can now look forward to good race in Evian, France on the 17/18 September.
3rd Round of the UKFFORC S250 & F400 RYA Championship ( Offshore ) – Cardiff Bay 20-21 August 2011
Jelf Team Drivers Ben Jelf (S250) & Jess & Beth Stoneman (F400)Headed to Cardiff Bay this week to compete in the 3rd round of the UKFFORC- RYA National Offshore Championships.
In S250 Ben Jelf got off to a shaky start after being DQ’d from the first heat after receiving outside assistance, when a problem with fuel meant that he had to retire from the race. Ben Re-joined but would not score any points.
Ben continued to settle in well and have fun in his boat for the rest of the weekend. The S250 Class results were – (1) Tobias Adlam, (2) Tommy Pocknell (3) Max Coleman ( first ever podium – well done Max) (4) Ben Jelf.
In F400 Jess & Beth stoneman managed to keep pace with the rest of the F400 fleet – proving that there test session the week before made a huge difference to their abilities. The girls had a fantastic time and are looking forward to their next race. The F400 Class was won by Max Ludwell & Mike Wills. Jess & Beth finished 4th.
Looking forward to the next round in Weymouth on the 17th & 18th September.
Ben Wins the European Championship in Estonia !
Ben Jelf Dominates in Estonia to become the first ever GT15 European Champion !
Ben Jelf 2011
15th to the 17th July 2011 saw eleven year old Ben Jelf from Maidstone, Kent travel to Lake Viljandi in Estonia to compete for the inaugural title of UIM 2011 European GT15 Champion.
The British youngster who was crowned UIM 2011 World GT15 Champion at his home club of Stewartby in June to see him one of Britain’s Youngest ever World Powerboat Racing Champions knew that the competition in Estonia would be fierce as the top boats in Europe came to challenge for the title.
Competitors from Sweden and Estonia joined the Brit to lay claim to the title in the GT15 European Championship in which the best three results from the four heat event would count.
With qualifying out of the way Ben had his sights firmly on the top spot, as he took pole position with a 1.12second lead on his closest rival Matthias Agur of Estonia.
By the end of the first days racing Ben was in a strong position in the championship taking two first places in the heats despite being overtaken in the second heat by Sweden’s Morgan Jernfast and having to battle hard to reclaim his lead and take the win.
As Sunday dawned it was down to business one more win would see Ben dominate the competition and take the European Title. As the third heat got underway Ben got a fantastic start and took the lead which he held to the finish, securing the win and with it the European Title.
Despite already securing the championship Ben decided to take to the water for the final heat and took a clean sweep of wins just to confirm the title. Sweden’s Morgan Jernfast took the silver European medal with Estonia’s Matthias Agur taking the Bronze to complete the Podium.
On securing his first European Title Ben commented “I’m really happy to have won the European title, I knew I was in with a chance after winning the World championship, but there’s some strong competitors in Europe so I knew it wouldn’t be easy, I’d have to race hard and we’d be pushing each other all the way.”
Proud Mum Jeni commented “Everybody in the family and team are really proud of Ben winning the 2011 European Championship. He raced really well as did all the competitors”
She continued “There’s always a bit of pressure on him to do well and follow in his father’s footsteps but Ben isn’t phased by this at all he just goes out and races to the best of his ability. His Dad and I have told him that the most important thing is that he enjoys himself whilst racing and if he makes a mistake we can learn from it, and if he wins that’s great!”
Ben's next challenge is to try and acheive the GT15 World Speed Record at Lake Coniston in November, and well as the JT250 Sprint & National Titles to try for.
RYA PRESS RELEASE : 11 year old crowned 2011 World GT15 Champion
GBR's Ben Jelf new powerboat racing champion !
Eleven year old Ben Jelf from Maidstone, Kent was this weekend crowned 2011 World GT15 Powerboat Racing Champion, making him one of Britain’s youngest powerboat World Champions ever.
The youngster who turned eleven just days before becoming World Champion battled it out over the weekend (18 - 19 June) at Stewartby Watersports Club in Bedford for the World Championship title.
Ben who has been racing powerboats for just two years, last year clinched two British titles in the JT250 and JT250 Sprint Championships and in addition to competing in these two British championships again in 2011 also entered the 2011 GT15 World Championship, a class that is not yet raced here in the UK.
He held off strong competition from fellow Brit Charlotte Newton and Estonia’s Reio Kasnapuu and Sken Heidemenn to win all four of the competitions heats and secure the crown.
RYA Powerboat Racing Co-ordinator Nicola Drummond commented: “We are all delighted for Ben. The GT15 class is relatively new in the UK and this was actually only the second time a World Championship has taken place, in 2008 Sweden’s Douglas Matton took the title.
Ben Jelf with UIM Commissioner - Pelle Larsson
“Despite gusting winds, less than perfect conditions and the first heat not getting underway until late Sunday afternoon the youngsters, like professionals, drove well in the conditions they were presented with at average speeds of around 35mph”.
In a class that allows racers between ten and sixteen to battle to be the best in the World,
Ben dominated the fleet to take the Gold Medal with Estonia’s Reio Kasnapuu securing the Silver medal position and Britain’s Charlotte Newton of Leigh in Lancashire taking the Bronze in her first international competition.
Following in his father’s footsteps Ben is the third member of the Jelf family to win the coveted World Powerboat Champion status with both dad Colin Jelf having multiple World titles and uncle Owen Jelf also having secured a World crown.
Ben’s mum Jeni Jelf commented “The whole family’s really proud of Ben and his World title. It’s easy to forget he’s only eleven and only been racing two years when you see how focussed he is when he is racing. They all drove really well and to the conditions they were faced with!”
Saturday morning we were greeted with high winds which disrupted the schedule but eventually Ben got to do free practise and later on the 30 minute qualifying session and posted the fastest time at the end of the session some 1.7 seconds faster than second placed driver Reio Kasnapuu of Estonia with 3rd on the grid going to Sken Heidemann also from Estonia and 4th spot for Charlotte Newton from Britain.
Unfortunately the first two heats due to be run on Saturday were postponed to Sunday but again the day started with high winds but a bit brighter, after some delay at last we got the call to launch for heat one, when the lights went out Ben leapt from pole position and into the lead followed by Reio Kasnapuu , Charlotte Newton and Sken Heidemann. As Ben continued to extend his lead a battle between Charlotte and Reio ensued, with Charlotte finally passing after pushing hard to take second place !
Heat two again saw Ben shoot of into the lead but Charlotte now from second on the grid had a very poor start and was over half a lap down before she got going and alas the gap was too large for her to overcome so the finishing order was Ben, Reio, Sken and Charlotte.
The third heat once more saw Ben first into the first turn followed by Reio, Charlotte and Sken, once again as Ben increased his lead over the rest of the field Charlotte was catching Reio lap by lap and on the final lap she past him to take second behind Ben.
Ben took the flag to become World Champion with the crowd really cheering as he crossed the line and an equal cheer for Charlotte after her brilliant second place.
Ben Jelf & Charlotte Newton
Ben Jelf - GT15
Heat four (best three to count) again saw Ben go into the lead and with Charlotte getting a better start from second than in heat two there was a chance that if she could beat Reio she could finish second in the Championship, but the Estonian had other ideas and beat Charlotte to second place.
The final result was Ben Jelf (GBR) 1st, Reio Kasnapuu (EST) 2nd, Charlotte Newton (GBR) 3rd and Sken Heidemann (EST) 4th
The Jelf Racing Team would like to thank Neil Bainbridge and the guys at BSMarinesport for all their hard work in preparation for this event and for the help over the weekend.
UK’s Ben Jelf to enter GT15 World Championships on the 18/19 June 2011 !
Stewartby WaterSports Club powerboat racer Ben Jelf will have home advantage this weekend as he looks to celebrate his birthday with his first world crown.
Thirty speedsters from eight different countries will battle it out in Bedfordshire in the hope of clinching the World titles in the GT15 and GT30 classes.
Held on Saturday and Sunday the competitors from across the globe will descend on Stewartby Lake to contend for the world titles as well as battle it out for vital points in the World Formula 4 Championship in the third round of the competition.
In the GT15 Championship Great Britain will be represented by Jelf, son of former World F2 Champion Colin Jelf. Ben celebrates his 11th birthday today (Friday) and, though the youngster has been racing powerboats for just two years, he already has two national titles under his belt so will be aiming to follow in his dad’s footsteps and add a first world crown to his collection.
Ben Jelf - 2011
In the GT30 Class fellow Stewartby Waterports Club racer, Sam Whitle will be up against stiff competition in 2010 National GT30 Champion Ben Morse, former 0250 Speed Record holder Malcolm Goodman, 2010 European Champion Christian Carlsen and 2010 World Bronze medal winner Fredrik Hovland both from Norway.
The Formula 4 Championship continues it's competition where current leader, 2009 World Champion Scott Curtis from Norwich will be looking to make it a hat-trick of wins in the five round competition following wins in Hungary and France.
Looking to cause problems for Scott will be fellow Brit reigning World Champion Mark Williams as well as four times European Champion Pedro Fortuna from Portugal.
OWEN JELF GETS 3rd IN ITALY !
Owen F2 - 2011
Despite a disappointing result in the opening round of the 2011 UIM F2 World Championship, Owen Jelf fought back a week later in the 2nd round of the championship in Calgliari, Italy.
The new Mercury Optimax ‘green’ engine seems to now be dominating the series and with Owen still using the Mercury SST120 Engine he has found himself at a huge disadvantage against the new more powerful engine.
Owen Jelf managed a respectable 6th place in the opening round of the championship in Hungary, and went on a week later to claim 3rd in the 2nd round of the championship in Italy.
Owen has now invested in a new Optimax engine and combined with his many years of knowledge and experience - he will be ready to once again aim for the top spots in the next round in Poland !
BEN JELF CURRENTLY 2ndOVERALL IN MID-SEASON POINTS
Ben Jelf is currently liyng 2nd overall in the JT250 British National Championship, with 3 more rounds to go !
R1 : LPRC
The opening round in Carr Mill, Lancashire saw Ben take pole and win all 3 heats of the event to take maximum points. Ben put in an impressive performance and proved to still have the pace he set in 2010.
The second round in Oulton Broad Suffolk proved to be a challenging one, with Ben Struggling to keep pace with Teague Stroud on the tricky 2 pin course.
Despite his best efforts, Ben could not keep up with the lighter & smaller Barnard Hull of Teague and had to settle for 2nd place. Teague Stroud won the event with 3 straight heat wins.
Ben Jelf - JT250
R3 : MPRC
The third round held at Bodymoore Heath started well for Ben with him once again taking pole and winning the first 2 heats with no problems.
Unfortunately, Ben Jump-Started in the 3rd Heat which saw him receive a 1 lap penalty, relegating him to last place for that heat.
Ben finished 3rd in the event and lost his lead on the championship points table.
With 3 more rounds still left to go –Ben has plenty of time to try and regain his lead and we wish him and the rest of the competitors the best of luck for the rest of the season !
OWEN JELF TO PARTICIPATE IN F2 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2011
Owen Jelf has announced his participation in the 2011 UIM F2 World Championship, while Brother Colin announces his retirement from the series.
After a difficult 2010 championship which saw most of the races cancelled and the organisation of the series in Chaos, the 2011 series is promising to be a good one with races confirmed in many countries.
Colin will be concentrating his efforts on his Son’s racing and will consider his options at the end of the 2011 season.
NEW FEMALE DRIVERS FOR THE JELF TEAM !
14 Year old Jess Stoneman & 13 Year old Beth Stoneman are announced as the new driver additions to the Jelf Racing Team.
The talented sisters from Chatham in Kent, will joining the ranks of their Cousin Ben Jelf & Uncle Colin Jelf in powerboat racing.
The girls will be participating in the UKFFORC F400 Race Series, which will see Jess Driving a 14ft Fletcher boat powered by a Tohatsu 40hp Engine. Her Sister Beth will be the co-driver.
The Whole team wish the girls all of the best in their first season – go get them !!!
BEN JELF TO RACE IN S250 OFFSHORE CLASS IN 2011
Jelf Racing’s youngest driver, Ben, will be joining the UKFFORC series in 2011 to participate in their S250 Junior Racing Class. The UKFFORC S250 series is a fantastic starter class for children aged from 9 upwards, to learn the skill of ‘offshore’ racing. The whole team wish Ben all of the best in this new challenge !
JELF RACING TEAM COLLECT 2010 AWARDS !
Ben, With Dad - Colin
In Febuary, the Jelf Racing attended awards dinner’s hosted by the RYA & Stewartby Powerboat Club. Ben Jelf received awards for winning the JT250British National & Sprint Championships and Owen Jelf received his award for winning the F2 British Sprint Championship 2010. First stop was Bournemouth for the ceremony hosted by the RYA, followed by the second awards Dinner hosted by the Stewartby Powerboat Club 2 weeks later in Bedford.