Boating. Sam Spinks’ passion for racing was reignited recently after watching Australia verse America at the ‘Powerboat Spectacular’ in Sydney.
The 13-year-old has raced with the Tasmanian sector of the Australian Power Boat Association since he was 11 and with two successful seasons under his belt, he is eager to continue improving.
After securing a first and two thirds at the Devonport Regatta on Sunday March 6, Sam earned himself second place overall on the points tally.
Racing 10 of his peers in the junior 15 horsepower class, Sam earned a prime position in the starting line-up based on his practice laps allowing him to easily manoeuvre past his opposition, finishing his three laps in an impressive time.
He followed this performance the following weekend with two days of racing at the ‘Granton Spectacular’, but despite the calm weather conditions, Sam’s race didn’t run so smoothly.
Experiencing fuel issues, he endeavoured to and succeeded in finishing his race but was disappointed by the end result.
With the heaviest boat in the junior 15hp class at 100-kilograms plus with the motor attached, Sam says he performs best in rough weather, using the waves to his advantage.
“My boat hugs the water better, it’s more stable,” he said, describing the way lighter boats tend to ‘jump’ over the waves: “Light boats have to slow for waves to avoid flipping.”
Alongside his boat’s weight, Sam also credited his past season’s success to a specially designed Norwegian propeller he fitted to the boat.
“It took over two months to get here [but] I gained eight-kilometres per hour,” he said.
Topping speeds of up to 62km per hour, Sam says he is constantly looking to improve his races, enjoying the challenges of “trying to get as much out of your boat as you can”.
With his Yamaha 15 motor, the use of a cavitation plate and streamline nose cone help to propel his boat, the Slingshot II, through the water.
Moulded from his first boat, Slingshot, Sam and his father Casey fitted out the current vessel based upon the original model.
Spending close to 20 hours on the project after the vessel was moulded, the pair has received a huge amount of positive feedback from fellow racers, requesting to purchase their own ‘Slingshots’.
With the November to April 2015/16 season coming to a close on Saturday April 9 with the ‘Hi Points Series Final’ at Rosevears, Sam will remain in the 15hp class next season before stepping up to the 25hp class to continue on from his early success.
To keep updated on Sam’s racing ‘Like’ the Facebook page ‘Sam Spinks Slingshot Racing’.