Theft stuns ex-champ

PUBLISHED: 13:36 19 May 2006 | UPDATED: 21:52 28 May 2010

Richard Wiles

Richard Wiles

A FORMER hovercraft racing world champion was left devastated after thieves stole his craft in a daylight raid. Less than two years ago, Richard Wiles, 29, from Whittlesey, was on top of the world after he won the Formula S world championship. But now he

A FORMER hovercraft racing world champion was left devastated after thieves stole his craft in a daylight raid.

Less than two years ago, Richard Wiles, 29, from Whittlesey, was on top of the world after he won the Formula S world championship.

But now he has begun a frantic search for his craft, which was stolen from outside his home on Stonald Road, Whittlesey, on Monday afternoon.

The theft could not come at a worse time for Richard who, after months of hard work and training, looked to be set for further glory this season.

At the weekend, a superb performance in the latest round of the Formula 503 National Championships at Rother Valley resulted in Richard winning all four of his races and moving to the top of the championship standings.

But his buoyant mood was shattered when his mother Beryl discovered the blue and red hovercraft, along with its trailer, had been taken from the driveway of the family home.

She said: "I had left the house at about noon on Monday but when I returned about an hour-and-a-half later it took a few minutes to register what was missing from the driveway of the house.

"I called Richard at work to see if he had taken it but when he told me that he hadn't, I called the police.

"Road workers on the road to March said that they had seen it being towed at excessive speed by a white van or pick-up truck."

With the next round of the National Championships just a week away, the Wiles family are desperate to find the hovercraft.

Mrs Wiles said: "We have spent years building and working on the craft and it is priceless to us.

"Whoever took it will not be able to start it without the special starter and so we fear that they may have dumped or destroyed it.

"We hope someone will spot the craft and give us information that will help us to find it."

CONTACT: Police on 0845 4564564

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