THE inaugural Minehead Summer Festival served up two days of high-speed marine motorsport action that attracted thousands of spectators to the West Somerset coast.

Somerset County Gazette:

Visitors packed onto the beach in glorious sunshine to enjoy the Minehead Summer Festival which was packed with high speed powerboat and jet ski racing.

The P1 Aqua X made its first visit to Minehead at the weekend with more than 40 jet ski riders from seven countries competing for UK and European titles.

Somerset County Gazette:

Picturesque Minehead Bay with the striking backdrop of North Hill provided a superb arena for the fast and furious action. 
Race conditions were almost perfect, with a little rough water in the Bristol Channel to please some of the riders.

The experienced Phil Pope had a memorable weekend, securing his fourth Pro Enduro national title with a clean sweep of victories. Simon Gill, the 2017 UK and European champion in 2-stoke sprint, travelled home to Bristol with both the Ski Pro 2-stroke and 4-stoke championship trophies in his holdall.

Somerset County Gazette:

ACTION: Jet ski racing (Picture: Pauline Watling)

There was significant local interest for the crowds in the Thundercat powerboat racing as Watchet is home to former four-time world champion of the sport, James Tapp. 

It was James and his co-driver Scott Brown who would dominate the racing over the weekend winning round six and coming second in round seven of the RYA ThunderCat National Championships.

Somerset County Gazette:

A spokesperson for Thundercat UK said: “Thanks to Minehead Events Group, Minehead Coastal Community Team, and Minehead Town Council for making this event possible, as well as to all the sponsors including Amicus Law solicitors, Beaver Ford, Jewson, Autohaus and C J Lynch & Sons. 

“Also thanks to all the safety teams, scrutineers and event management for their efforts.”