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WORLD CHAMPIONS: P750 Roar of the Thundercats……


WORLD CHAMPIONS: P750 Roar of the Thundercats……

Category Trans Agulhas

The protagonists of 2017 season`s most outstanding performances in the various UIM World Championships were presented with their trophies under the spotlight of the 9th UIM Awards Ceremony held in Monaco on the 17th March 2018 - an occasion that  brought together more than 600 guests from 60 countries across the world.

TEAM AGRISELL was fortunate to be invited to receive their P750 UIM Award!


Dr Raffaele Chiulli, UIM President said: ‘We believe the safety of our athletes is of paramount importance, which is why safety measures such as the use of head and neck restraint devices was extended to all boat classes. We believe this initiative underlines yet again UIM`s commitment to a safer racing future with clear and professional rules. Next to safety, the other two important pillars of our philosophy are the nurturing and development of young talent and, of course, environmentally-friendly practices.’


It was an awesome year for the Thundercat Racing Global Community, concluding with the major event in Cape Town, South Africa - the home of inflatable boat racing. Rubber duck boats are an original South African invention and inflatable boat racing is now recognised as one of the world’s fastest growing water sports. During March 2017 the Southern hemisphere hosted the South African UIM P750 World Championship, featuring over 130 competitors and more than 65 teams.  

Although the physical distance between countries can be incredibly vast, the world of social media has brought international teams, sponsors and communities behind the sport very close with shared ideas, race results and incredible pictures from different cultural backdrops and race environments. The sport even saw a YouTube video clip go viral reaching well over 6.6 million views in less than a week – coverage any sport or sponsor would wish for!

After eight years, the UIM P750 World Championship returned to South African shores. Hosted by the beautiful city of Cape Town, this prestigious event was the most highly anticipated event on the racing calendar. The Mother City certainly did not disappoint and provided perfect weather conditions for competitors and spectators alike. The championship was contested between 18 entries, a record in the Modified Class. This was always going to be a hard-fought race between TEAM AGRISELL, the South African Champion team, and the other contenders.  Once again it was an all-South African final podium with current national champions Johann Lodewyks and Flippie Schoeman (AGRISELL) taking the gold. In second place were Wade Ball and Bobby Shaw (LANDROVER), followed closely by Stefan Lindeque and Tony Ingram (7 STARS ENERGY DRINK).


The first discipline was the Surf Circuit Racing held at the infamous Bloubergstrand Beach with the majestic Table Mountain as a back drop. As expected, the venue provided challenging conditions with 3 m waves and light onshore winds.

After a rest day during which teams had the opportunity to repair the damage from the previous day`s brutal waves, a 150km long haul in Table Bay awaited them. The circuit runs from Bloubergstrand to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was forced to reside for 27 years. In the modified class, where the engines are pushed to maximum with high revs, it’s always a nerve- wracking time for the teams as there is no assurance that their equipment will last the full 150 km.

The final discipline was the flatwater circuit hosted at the V&A Waterfront. This was the perfect setting with spectators treated to a hot, windless final with hundreds of dolphins in the bay. High speed and close contention made for exciting racing and an inevitable amount of risk taking. This led to a few flips from the teams and made the flat-water race just as exciting as the large waves in the surf circuit.

After a week of racing, the coveted overall World Championship belonged to Johann Lodewyks and Flippie Schoeman, ensuring the trophy stayed on home soil!

Johann Lodewyks (pilot) was quick to give due credit: ‘Of course none of this would be possible without the ongoing support of our sponsors, namely AGRISELL, Gemini Racing, Easy Marine and TBR Performance Engineering.’


The UIM Awards Giving Ceremony and Gala Dinner were attended by Jannie and Lize Fourie (AGRISELL), Johann and Leonie Lodewyks and Flippie Schoeman (co-pilot).


The final cherry on the cake was being able to take the opportunity to explore the Principality of Monaco, a sovereign state created in 1297. Staying in the Hotel Monte Carlo Beach they briefly visited the magnificent port lined with the most expensive yachts imaginable; the Prince Palace where they experienced the changing of the guards; the oceanographic museum; the classic car collection; the casino atrium as well as the famous tunnel and bend of the historic Monaco Grand Prix visited by 100,000 spectators annually.   

Author Jannie Fourie
Published 28 Apr 2018 / Views -
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