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Watersports enthusiast competes with jet-ski professionals
A WATERSPORTS fan ended up in the thick of the action after a chance encounter at a major race event.
Weymouth jet-ski rider Daniel Bell found himself competing against the top names in water sports.
Daniel Bell, 26, of Glenmore Road, did not expect to be entered into the P1 AquaX Championship when the high-speed events were held in the town for the first time.
After popping into the P1 Superstock base ahead of the racing, organisers invited Mr Bell to take part after discovering his passion for the sport.
His family and friends were shocked when he finished in third place in the 250 class.
Mr Bell, a bricklayer who runs his own business, said he had gained experience from riding his Sea-Doo RXT jet-ski around Bowleaze Cove.
He added: “I was so shocked as I had never done anything like it before.
“I have plenty of experience and am a confident rider so I accepted the challenge.
“The next thing I knew I was all kitted out and ready to race.
“When getting information about the weekend the organisers found out I had my own jet ski and asked if I would like to take part.
“It was great to be the only local guy taking part and had all my supporters watching from the pier.”
After accepting the challenge, Mr Bell headed home to grab his jet-ski before heading back to Weymouth Bay for training.
Simon North, of P1 Superstock, said: “Dan turned up and ended up racing with us, having completed his training on Friday afternoon to get his race permit.
“Dan did fantastically well to finish fifth in his first ever race and then third on Sunday so would have been on the podium.”
The high-speed events ended tragically following the death of powerboat driver Mike Lovell in the last race of the championship.
Mr Bell said: “It was such a sad end to the weekend and I feel for all Mike’s friends and family.”
He added thanks to his girlfriend and parents, George and Janette Bell, for supporting him.