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Racer Of The Fortnight – Richard Kirk

Britains Multiple F2 Champion Richard Kirk dominated the Formula 2 series in 2010 . As The UK prepares for the 2011 racing series, we put Richard aged 35yrs  in the spotlight for this issue of ‘Racer of the fortnight’


 Left – Driver Bradley Cannings, Skier Richard Kirk, Observer Tim Mayers

Where do you live & what do you do for a living?

I Live in a small village called Moulton, 3miles from Newmarket, Suffolk. I work for a inkjet printing manufacturer called Xaar based in Cambridge, as an equipment design engineer.

 How long have you been involved in Waterski Racing ?

I have been ski racing nationally since 2000, so a relative late starter to the sport. Although I learnt to ski when I was about 12.

What boat do you ski behind?

I ski behind Team H20, Boat number 200. Which is a 21’ Cylcone Invader. My driver is Bradley Cannings and Observer is Tim Mayers, they are based in the South West, which is where I used to live, so we train in the South West, and race for Lyme Regis Powerboat Club.

What titles have you achieved ?

I have won the British Formula II title 3 times.In Europe I was 3rd in Formula III in 2000,1st in F3 in 2002. 2nd in F2 in 2004. Diamond Race I’ve come 3rd in F2 three times. Cantalina I have had one silver and two bronze finishes in F2.

How do you prepare for each race ?

Generally I take it as it comes. I don’t think about the race, I stay relaxed and let it happen. As long as I’ve done enough preparation in the winter and got behind the boat enough times pre-season to bed myself in, I’m confident enough to think I can put in a good performance and get a good result.

What equipment do you use ?

My preferred choice of ski that I use is a Maherajah, my race suit is Aquatec . This year I’ve invested in a brand new Cookie race helmet

What has been your most favourable race ?

Typically the races I’ve had the most satisfaction from are the ones that I’ve had to dig deep to find something extra to get a result. I guess when you race strong opposition that’s what can make the difference between a podium and a strong finish. However, just for the shear spetical, the Catalina has to stand out as a cherished memory.

What advice would you give to up & coming skiers ?

It has taken me a number of years to achieve the level I am at, I’ve enjoyed the journey and still marvel, and have the upmost respect for the skiers that dominate the sport’s top flight. My advice to any young skier is to be patient, and never worry about your opponents, as you only have control over your own actions and not the actions of others. If you find yourself struggling in a race when others are going a lot quicker, use that experience to ask yourself, how do they manage it when you can’t. Try to visualise how their skiing position, and style is different from yours. Also study how the top skiers ski. I don’t think it is possible to teach the mechanics of ski racing, you have to experiment in practice, making small ajustments to you stance to find what works for you. Never not think about how you are skiing, when your on the water, more often than not there is something you can do to improve your skiing and make the ski work for you (not the other way round).

What are your goals for 2011?

My goals are to mantain my position in the UK Formula II rankings and make the British team for this year’s Worlds.

Do you have some hidden secret!

Unfortunately, there are no secrets to being a good ski racer. To be successful you need to be as fit as you can, relaxed, and have the best technique you can. That’s why it doesn’t matter what level you ski at, there will always be someone better than you! You can only be as good as you can be. That may make you Wayne Mawer or Todd Haig, or just good enough to win a British formula 2 title!!


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