Barbados Rally Club pays tribute to Paul Bourne

Barbados Rally Club pays tribute to Paul Bourne

The Barbados Rally Club (BRC) has paid tribute to Paul ‘Surfer’ Bourne, who passed away on Wednesday (February 7) at the age of 59. The two-time winner of Rally Barbados and former BRC Competition Secretary had been one of the island’s most formidable - and most popular - competitors for more than two decades until he stepped away from active motor sport in 2014.

  Speaking for the Committee of Management, Rally Club PRO Neil Barnard said: “The passing of Paul Bourne is a huge and very sad loss. He was an intense competitor and had a marked impact on island – and indeed regional - motorsport. Even though he had retired from active competition, he had built such a passionate fan base that he still would create a buzz when he turned up to spectate at events. His energy was infectious. A remarkable man.”
  ‘Surfer’ had earned his nickname on the sea, sailing and surfing, as both competitor and organiser, before he arrived in motor sport in the late 1980s, first with an Austin Maestro, then a Peugeot 205GTi. From the early days of the Texaco All-Stage Rally, Bourne was a regular podium finisher. In 1993, with co-driver Richard Gooding, he was third overall and first local home in the Peugeot behind the four-wheel-drive Subaru and Ford of Ireland’s Kenny McKinstry and the Swiss driver Andy Krattiger.
  He claimed his first win in the now-renamed Rally Barbados in 2003 during a successful partnership with co-driver Louis Venezia; it was the first win for a World Rally Car and might have come the previous year, when his Subaru Impreza became the island’s first resident WRC, but for a massive accident at Canefield on the opening stage.
  They claimed their sixth podium in 2006 after which Stuart Maloney replaced Venezia in island events, having already rallied alongside Bourne around the region: they had finished third in Rally Jamaica 2003 and won Rally Trinidad the following year, and went on to win Rally Barbados in 2007. Another third place followed in 2009, then Surfer’s switch to a Ford Focus WRC garnered his second King of the Hill win in 2010 and a hat-trick of second places from RB10 to RB12, before fourth place in 2014 heralded his retirement. A previous ‘retirement’ a decade before had been short-lived, but, this time, he meant it . . . much to the disappointment of his huge fan base.
  A regular winner in rallies and speed events, he won his class in the BRC Driver’s Championship eight times between 2002 and 2012, also the 2006 Texaco BRC Rally Championship. He was also active across the island’s other clubs and disciplines, very competitive in RallySprints in the early days of the Vaucluse Raceway and a circuit racing Group Champion at Bushy Park in 2000.
  Behind the scenes, he was the BRC’s Competition Secretary from 2007 to 2010 and ran a popular series of grass-roots Dexterity Tests through his company PB Events during his first retirement. While his determined driving style has been missed by fans since 2014, he has been a continuing presence at motor sport events across the island, advising and encouraging up-coming drivers including Jermin Pope, who spent the 2013 season as his co-driver. He had also returned, for the third time, to his role as President of the Barbados Surfing Association in 2018, while developing a biodynamic farm, nature sanctuary and tourist attraction in St Joseph over the past 10 years.
  The Barbados Rally Club offers its sincere condolences to Paul’s extended family and many friends in sport across the island and further afield.

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