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Old 14 August 2009, 15:48   #1
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RIB "track days" with Neil Holmes

A few weeks ago Neil Holmes called me about getting a banner ad on RIBnet for his Powerboat Training Academy which gave me the perfect excuse to do a deal for me to have a day of training with Neil in his Phantom Evo.

This write up isn't part of the deal - I'm just writing as a happy punter

Neil has an epic powerboat racing CV with 7 world championship titles plus 3 world speed records, but he's also a very straightforward and approachable bloke. He runs race training, as well as general high performance and rough weather training, using either his Phantom Evo with an Evinrude E-TEC 250-HO, or clients' own boats.

They also run the full range of RYA courses with Don Roper as Chief Instructor. The syllabus is obviously laid down by the the RYA but is delivered with a lot of thought to students intentions to move on to faster boats.

My day was really an intro to the race training that he provides, but each course is tailored to the individual student. We spent a while in the classroom going over the basics, so that he was happy that I would understand what he was trying to get me to do on the water. As well as being able to drive boats fast, Neil has a real understanding of the mechanics of how it works, and explains it very clearly.

The practical bit was about taking turns at speed, going round the bouys in Southampton water. For the first few attempts it was at about 30 mph, but once I was starting to get the right sort of line Neil had me doing tight turns at 40, then 50, then 60. Believe me, I never thought that driving round a few bouys could be so difficult, or so much fun!

The Evo was fantastic and 60 was absolutely effortless - followed by about 80 mph once Neil was safely back in the driving seat for a last blast.

A one day high performance course for one person is 275 (plus fuel if you use their boat). Alternatively if anyone fancies a "track day" type experience then I'd recommend going to see Neil. Three people can share a day for just over 150 each - that's including tuition, use of the Phantom Evo and fuel.

I'm just trying to work out an excuse to justify going back again for another go . . .
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Old 14 August 2009, 16:51   #2
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I'd love this sort of service/idea to be available up here in scotland !!

Track days for boating would be ace
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Old 15 August 2009, 17:33   #3
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I'd love this sort of service/idea to be available up here in scotland !!

Track days for boating would be ace
Same here, sounds great!
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Old 16 August 2009, 10:41   #4
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I'd love this sort of service/idea to be available up here in scotland !!

Track days for boating would be ace
direct flights to southampton are quite cheap if you book em early, there only about 150 on the day the flight only takes an hour with the centre being only about 20 mins from the airport if that!
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Old 16 August 2009, 19:37   #5
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I'm just trying to work out an excuse to justify going back again for another go . . .
Offer Neil a bigger Banner Ad.
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Old 18 August 2009, 05:29   #6
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track day

Well what a reveiw, so glad you enjoyed your day. Apparentley Neil says you are actually quite good

Im sure we can figure a way to get you back in for part 2, how about high speed in adverse weather? Get you out past the needles and see how high you can fly the boat!!

We are also planning to do a rib racing day for anyone who wants to race or is intersted in rib racing as there are a number of marathon type events occuring, anyone intertsed contact me for details

Cheers John

Jax
www.powerboatcentre.com
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