POWER boat racer Ryan McIntosh said he didn't have time to get nervous before last weekend's world circuit titles held on the Manning.
McIntosh made his debut in the event behind the wheel of Sacrifice in the 6 litre displacement class. This boat is usually driven by former world champion Chris Whalan.
Before the Manning Easter Classic this year McIntosh only knew Whalan by reputation.
"He was a friend of friends of mine,'' he explained.
However, Whalan saw McIntosh drive at the classic and eventually approached him to see if he was interested in contesting the world round at Taree in Sacrifice.
"The boat's not fast enough for him,'' McIntosh said.
The final offer didn't come until last Thursday. After agreeing McIntosh spent most of Friday getting his licences in place. Competition started on Saturday morning.
He'd never driven in a capsule boat before and admits some of the safety aspects of getting out of the boat in an accident had him a little concerned.
"You're strapped in and it's all done by touch,'' he said.
"It was all new to me.''
McIntosh gave himself no chance of worrying the leading contenders for honours over the two days.
"I thought we'd come last for sure,'' he said.
However, he surprised himself. He was fourth overall, finishing with 898 points from six races. Troy Marland in Sick Puppy was the overall winner with 2400. Two seconds were McIntosh's best results.
He reached speeds of 123mph during competition.
"It's not the fastest I've driven - but it was quick enough,'' he smiled.
McIntosh didn't have any real trouble adapting to the new boat or racing in a capsule.
A former Australian barefoot ski champion, McIntosh has been involved with powerboats since he was eight. He progressed into competitive driving about four years ago, but admits it has only been fleeting.
"I usually race here at Easter and I've done a couple of races at Raymond Terrace,'' he said.
He drives an Everingham 5 litre carby but admits last weekend's experience has him thinking about switching to another class in the future.
"I'm weighing a few things up at the moment,'' he said.
However, one thing is for sure. McIntosh is keen for more racing.
"That's for sure,'' he said.
His performance last weekend caught the attention of series promoter Tony Walsh.
"Despite not having the opportunity to compete in a cell boat before, Ryan had no problem getting a handle on the boat to earn himself fourth place,'' Walsh noted.
"The class could certainly be welcoming a strong competitor in future years.''