A team of Hampshire powerboat stars have told of their delight at smashing a world speed record on water.
Hamble-based powerboat champion Steve Curtis, along with engineer Trevor Leigh, managed to notch a breathtaking top speed of 244mph in the Spirit of Qatar Al Adaa’am 96 catamaran during a competition in Sunrise Beach, Missouri, on Saturday.
Steve pushed the vessel to the limits along with team owner Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout competition.
The effort established the new record by beating the 224mph set by My Way Mystic at last year’s event.
The vessel hit technical difficulties during its first run after the parachute was deployed early in the one-mile course.
It still managed to reach 210mph before the repaired boat smashed the record by 20mph in the second run.
Speaking to the Daily Echo, Steve said: “It was fantastic.
“We hadn’t done a lot of testing on it before.
“It’s not like going for a world speed record, you approach the starting gate at 40mph and you have just one mile to go as fast as you can.
“It was unbelievable for a big boat like ours.
“The great thing is there is a bunch of Southampton guys on the team and we all went out for a beer or two afterwards, as you can imagine.”
Trevor’s powerboating champion wife Shelley Jory Leigh said the team were thrilled to break the record.
She said: “It’s very impressive.
“Not only does the boat do 244mph in a straight line on a lake, it can race off-shore in big seas and turns corners on a racecourse – you don’t usually get that and that’s what’s so incredible about this.
“They had a major fire in the turbine engine in one race but they rebuilt it and it’s now incredible.
“I am really chuffed for them and my husband. I have been achieving things in my life, like winning powerboat championships and he’s always stood behind me. But now I am really pleased I can say he has achieved this.
“They were all relieved. At that speed, if it goes wrong it is going to go very wrong.
“At the end there was relief and happiness, the feeling of ‘wow we did it’.”
She added that the team may try to better the speed next year with Sheik Hassan at the helm.
The shootout competition has been running for 26 years and raises money for the Lake of the Ozarks area’s charities.