Burry Port RNLI helmsman in winning team for the 2016 UK Thundercat Racing

Lifeboats News Release

Rob Davies, a well respected helmsman from Burry Port RNLI, was on the winning team for the 2016 UK ThunderCat Racing Championship. Team Hoonigan, sponsored by Microlink and Ahmad Tea, in only their second year racing, won the Championship by with a nine point margin over their nearest rivals.

Helmsman Rob Davies with Burry Port Lifeboat 'Leicester Challenge II'

RNLI/Alun Wells

Team Hoonigan entered the 2015 Thundercat Racing UK Championship as an unsponsored rookie team. Whilst Rob Davies was an experienced helmsman with Burry Port RNLI,
co-driver Darren Phillips had not set foot in a boat prior to this.
With the support of Martin Tummuscheit as team manager, and his experience of logistics, maintenance and engine set up, they managed to win their first race in their first ever round of racing. Following 14 rounds of racing held at 7 different venues around the UK they finished the 2015 season in third place.

From their outstanding achievement as rookies during the 2015 season, and self funding over £12K, the main event sponsors, Microlink, offered Rob and Darren one of their own fleet of racing boats for the 2016 race season.

The 2016 championship ran from March to November, again held over 14 rounds, one round being held in Gibraltar, and the final round taking place in Watergate Bay, Cornwall, accompanied by Storm Angus which was at its peak during the race weekend.

They entered that weekend with a two point lead in the championship. Despite the extreme weather conditions and with Rob Davies Lifeboat Helmsman skills and experience, they managed to outpace their opponents to become the 2016 Champions by a clear nine points.

The team was well supported by family and friends at all the venues, and some of Burry Port crew members went along to give support.

Team Hoonigan are now preparing themselves for another gruelling season, and we wish them every success for the 2017 championship, they are now the team to beat.

They have also been shortlisted for the Team Award in the Carmarthenshire Sports Personality Awards which will be held in February.

RNLI media contact

For more information contact Alun Wells, Burry Port Lifeboat Press Officer on 07929 783239. Alternatively contact Eleri Roberts, RNLI Public Relations Manager on 01745 585162 / 07771 941390 or email Eleri_Roberts@rnli.org.uk.

From R to L Rob Davies, Darren Phillips and Martin Tummuscheit

RNLI/Alun Wells

Team Hoonigan

RNLI/Alun Wells

On their way to victory

RNLI/Alun Wells

Storm Angus at its peak in Watergate Bay

RNLI/Alun Wells

The final lap

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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