James Norvill - My Start in Competitive Powerboat Racing

James Norvill
3 min readNov 25, 2022
James Norvill and Charlie Parsons Young

I’m James Norvill and besides operating several successful businesses across South Wales, I have a passion for powerboat racing and consider myself an experienced competitor having competed in powerboat race events since I first made my debut at the 2012 P1 SuperStock Championship as part of the Oval Insurance race team.

Over a decade may have passed since that debut race and a lot has certainly happened since, but I still remember it like it was yesterday.

That 2012 debut season proved successful for myself and the Oval Insurance race team as we achieved an unexpected two podium finishes which further ignited my desire to continue with competitive races.

Despite this great introduction to the sport, I’m glad the best was still to come, as I was able to follow up this debut season with further success in the coming years.

See James Norvill’s profile on P1 Superstock.

GD Environmental Services Race Team — James Norvill & Charlie Parsons-Young

I spent 2013 racing for the P1 Marine Foundation in the UK and US P1 SuperStock Championships, but on this occasion, we narrowly missed out on the UK P1 SuperStock title.

GD Environmental Services powerboat team in action

In 2014, I raced with navigator and close-friend, Charlie Parsons-Young, as part of the GD Environmental Services race team. During this time, myself and Charlie formed a formidable partnership that saw us finish the season as reigning champions in both the coveted UK and US P1 SuperStock Championships.

This led to local newspapers covering the success, such as the South Wales Argus publishing the article “Newport powerboat pair are double champions — James Norvill and Charlie Parsons-Young are celebrating a remarkable double win”.

We had spent the entire summer crossing the Atlantic while competing in the UK and USA P1 Championships and had won the UK title at Gosport in early September before going on to also win the P1 St Cloud Grand Prix of The Sea — which crowned us world champions.

It has to be said, that US title was an intense battle, as we entered the race with a slight three-point lead.

Fortunately, the race took place at one of my favourite US venues — East Lake Toho in Florida. It’s also what I class as my lucky venue, as I had my first USA victory there a year prior in 2013.

Although we knew from the outset that the race would be a tense and dramatic affair, we also knew that the flat venue suited us, and I remember us lining up at the start with a great deal of confidence.

In fact, 2014 was a fantastic year for me personally for reasons beyond this series of successful powerboat race wins. It was also the year I was awarded Institute Directors’ Young Director of the Year in Wales, while I was also proudly shortlisted as a finalist for the UK-wide Young Director of the Year award.

James Norvill Named Young Director of the Year

This success certainly spurned my appetite for more of the same in both my business life and powerboat racing efforts.

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James Norvill
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Businessman and Entrepreneur, powerboat pilot and famous for building the world's fastest skip. jamesnorvill.co.uk