ThunderCat Racing heading to Southsea

Portsmouth’s coastal town of Southsea is expected to host thousands of spectators to watch the  high-octane speedboat racing festival, ThunderCats UK.

Thrills and spills

The UK national ThunderCat championship kicked off in Bournemouth earlier this month and heads back to the Solent from July 9 to 10, just two weeks before Sir Ben Ainslie and his Portsmouth side prepare to compete in the America’s Cup World Series.

21 four-metre inflatable boats will hit speeds of up to 60mph as they compete in the RYA ThunderCat National Championships.

Close to the action

It won’t just be the powerboat racing that spectators – entry is free – are treated to as there will be a family festival on Castle Hill complete with live music stages featuring local bans, children’s rides and a Formula One-style pit land where they can meet teams, drivers and learn more about the boats.

Local favourite Alan Priddy will sponsor the event through his Portsmouth ocean racing Team Britannia ahead of his round-the-world powerboat challenge.

On Saturday evening, music lovers will be treated to a live concert ahead of Sunday’s live powerboat racing.

Mr Priddy, who recently relaunched a multimillion-pound world record bid to circumnavigate the globe, said: “ThunderCat racing is high-octane, high-adrenaline, high-drama speedboat racing at its best – and we have some of the best teams in the country heading to Portsmouth.

“What most people love is that the boats are launched from the beach and race close to the shore so you can see everything – the ups, downs and spills as the boats hit speeds of 60mph.”

Family friendly

Event partner Steve Pitt, who is arranging the on-shore activities said: “It’s great we have a family event to go alongside the Portsmouth Rural and Seaside Show, which the council puts on.

“It’s free and we want families to come down and see some world-class racing.

“These boats really shift and jump out of the water, so it’s exciting for the children to watch.

“It’s a great opportunity to do some stuff for the children.

“It’s really important to offer a great day out on the seafront

“It’s really important to offer a great day out on the seafront and it’s great for families who haven’t got a big budget.

“We want to provide them with a nice weekend.”

Mr Pitt added: “The music acts will be from the local area.

“This is very much focusing on the best of Portsmouth.”

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