A horse trainer has died in a horror powerboat crash in Dorset.

Kevin Edmondson, 53, of Canterbury, Kent, died when his Phantom 19 powerboat – Yknot! – flipped over after smashing into another boat during a race on Sunday.

The incident was witnessed by crowds who had gathered to watch the Offshore Circuit Racing Drivers Association race at West Bay near Bridport, not far from where TV drama Broadchurch was filmed.

A woman passenger in Mr Edmondson’s boat, named today as his co-pilot and partner Annika Hawthorne, was lifted from the water by rescue boats and was taken to Dorset County Hospital, but is believed to have escaped serious injury.

The two occupants of the other powerboat were not injured.

Kevin Edmondson, who died in a powerboat crash on Sunday (Picture: Wessex News Agency)

Mr Edmondson’s daughter, Demi, took to Facebook to pay tribute to her father, who she described as an ‘absolute legend’.

‘My heart is completely broken but cannot thank everyone enough for your kind words and messages at this time. Dad you truely (sic) are one in a million, I cannot put into words how much I’m going to miss you,’ she said.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) have been informed about the tragedy.

Mr Edmondson’s boat, Yknot! (Picture: Wessex News Agency)

Offshore Circuit Racing said the crash happened in ‘perfect conditions’ as the sun blazed down on the nearby beach and cliffs packed with spectators at about 3.15pm on the last lap of the final race on Sunday afternoon.

OCR spokesman Steve Oaten said Mr Edmondson was an amateur racer who had been competing in a ‘promotional’ event, the Aqua Adrenaline Series.

A statement on OCR’s Facebook page said its thoughts were with Mr Edmondson’s family.

Mr Edmondson (Picture: Wessex News Agency)

Eye witness Susan Carter said: ‘The crowds were pushed back to make way for the emergency services. There were many spectators who had to be moved back to the promenade area
from the slipway and pier before the helicopter could land.’

Along with Dorset Police, the West Bay Coastguard Rescue Team, the Devon and Cornwall Air Ambulance, South Western Ambulance Service and the RNLI Inshore Lifeboat from Lyme Regis all attended the incident.

The most powerful racing boats on the world stage can do more than 70mph in flat water conditions but it’s not clear what speed the two craft were doing in the tragedy.

Mr Edmondson was a horse trainer, while co-pilot Ms Hawthorne is a jockey. The pair had competed in numerous races in Britain and abroad in recent years.

Ireland-based OffshoreRacing.ie said on Facebook: ‘This weekend saw the loss of one of the most colourful racing characters and one of the nicest guys in racing. Kevin Edmondson lost his life doing what he loved, he will definitely be missed by all his friends within the racing fraternity here in Ireland and overseas.’

Powerboat & RIB Magazine said: ‘[We] would like to pay tribute to Kevin Edmondson who tragically lost his life in a racing accident at West Bay on June 24th 2018. A man who, amongst other things had a love for horses and powerboat racing […] our thoughts are with Kevin’s family, friends and the racing community.’


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