Finers returns UK powerboat duo to pole position

Finers Stephens Innocent has successfully advised world powerboat racing ­champions Craig Wilson and James Sheppard on their appeal against a 100-point deduction and ­disqualification.

The punishment was handed out after the UK duo was said to have ­competed in the Evolution class sprint race at the ­Italian Grand Prix of the Sea with engines that had not been tested properly.

The Finers team, led by head of litigation Sue Thackeray, convinced the appeal body of the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) to overturn the decision because no regulations had been broken.

Thackeray said it was rare to challenge such a decision, adding that it was ­important for Wilson and Sheppard to do so because they wanted to be able to take the world champion title again.

Winning the appeal means that the two UK ­racers, who are members of the Fountain Worldwide team, are now 220 points ahead of their nearest rival – the Kiton Outerlimits team.

On being instructed, Thackeray said: “Wilson and Sheppard are both big Formula 1 fans and found out that Mark Stephens and I had advised Lewis Hamilton last year in Paris, so they gave us a call.

“I told them I didn’t know anything about powerboats, to which they responded, ‘It’s like Formula 1 on the water, but without brakes.’ ”

The UIM used in-house counsel on the appeal.