Duo speed to world title
East London’s very own Candice Hatting and Chad Romans felt a sense of relief when they won this year’s annual Inflatable Powerboat World Championships that were held in France, and concluded last Sunday.
The two local speed fanatics, who managed to take first position in the modified boats category, said they were almost defeated even before they started, but it was their fighting spirit that forced them to not give up.
Hatting said her hopes of winning their world champs almost faded away when their boat experienced mechanical failure.
“Our engine failed and luckily my husband, Michael Hatting, is a mechanic and he had an hour and half to fix the engine before the race took place.
“And when the boat failed I kind of had my own doubts. When the engine died I actually said this is it and there goes our championships. But thanks to my husband we were able to continue to compete,” said Hatting.
She said the first circuit was a bad start and they had two days of racing on rough sea waters and had to be extra cautious.
“The second day the waters got too rough and the race was moved to our off day.
“We then had 19 laps of 6k with a total of 120km, but the waters were rough still. So we left twice and the organisers were actually thinking of cancelling the race.
“And the amazing thing is that we had done 19 laps and the other guys did like 15 laps, but we were just happy that we were able to go there and compete and win.
“And with the long haul race that we won, we had enough practice, because the actual race only took place after 2pm,” said Hatting.
This was Hatting’s first ever world title.
Her only previous appearance at the world champs came in 2009 when it was held in Port Elizabeth where, along with her husband Mike, they finished as runners-up.
Romans, however, is no stranger to being world champion as this is his third title.
His first title came in 2013 when he powered to the win in England in the Standard Class, and followed that up by picking up his second world title in 2015 in Monaco in the same class.
The Dispatch was unable to interview Romans as he is in China participating in the Auto-Moto Boat Race.
The second day the waters got too rough and the race was moved to our off day
VICTORIOUS: Chad Romans and Candice Hatting on their way to winning the Inflatable Powerboat World Championships that were recently held in France.
CHAMPS: Chad Romans and Candice Hatting are the inflatable powerboat world champions.