Even though CS Santosh spent most of the time at the back of the field, the ace Indian biker managed to get to the top step of the podium at the inaugural P1 Powerboat Indian Grand Prix of the Seas in Mumbai. The three-day marquee event makes no provision for individual winners, rather rewards the team with the highest aggregate points.
On Sunday, Santosh and navigator Martin Robinson’s teammates siblings Sam and Daisy Coleman dominated to win all three races on the weekend to give the team the win.
Competing in the event along with Santosh, who is the only Indian to feature and finish the Dakar Rally twice, was compatriot Gaurav Gill, who won the Asia Pacific Rally Championship in 2016.
Gill, starting fifth on the grid, got himself to third at one point in the third race, only for the engine bracket in his P1 Panther boat to come loose in the 10th lap. The 35-year-old was forced to reduce speed to avoid crashing out of the race, yet still managed to finish fifth in the overall standings. The Indian pair had begun training for their first ever Powerboat event just two months prior to the races.
The event along Marine Drive was unique since it was the first time that a Powerboat race was held along a demarcated course. “Normally their races are on the open sea and it’s marked by two or three floats to show where you have to turn. But here there was a proper boundary,” says Gill, considered the fastest Indian on four wheels.
The track was lined by 5700 buoys or floating balloons, a new Guinness World Records for a race, organised by Procam International and executed by Drishti Water Sports.