Powerboating bonanza over Bank Hoiday w/e

Sail gives way to power on the Isle of Wight over the August Bank Holiday weekend when the Powerboat P1 British Grand Prix of the Sea roars into life, building upon the 47 year heritage of the Cowes Powerboat Festival.

More than 120 craft are expected to assemble in Cowes, including many of the world’s top racing craft and crew, and organisers predict spectator numbers will exceed last years estimate of 70,000.

The racing starts in earnest on Friday 24th with the highlight of the programme Round 7 of the Powerboat P1 World Championship, the P1 British Grand Prix of the Sea.

The race incorporates a lap of the Island, one of the most prestigious and demanding challenges in powerboat racing with a history that dates back to 1968.

Shortly after the high-powered P1 craft ‘blast off’ at 2pm, the competitors in the ‘Round-the-Island’ challenge will assemble off Cowes for one of the most popular events of the weekend. Open to all pleasure and race craft, crews race against the clock in a range of class categories following the same circuit as the P1 ‘muscle machines’. When last run in 2005 it attracted 36 entries from across Britain.

On Saturday and Sunday racing will revert to a spectator-friendly circuit where the public lining the shores between Cowes and Thorness can enjoy the close-up spectacular action.

A packed programme over both days includes International RIBs, Class 3C and V24s, Thundercats and Jet Skis and the Honda 4-stroke Series comprising 150s and 225s (pictured).

In amongst the P1 café bars, champagne tents, food stalls and exhibition zones, the thousands of spectators lining the Cowes Parade will be able to follow the action through P1 Radio which is broadcast over the public address system.

Off the water this historic sea faring town becomes a bustling hive of activity with an international feel as pilots, teams and glamour mix with the public in the streets, bars and restaurants.

There is a festival atmosphere throughout the weekend and as the sun goes down, the partying starts and the throb of these awesome P1 powerboat engines is replaced with top line bands and DJ’s.

Provisional Timetable of Activity:

Friday 24 August

10:15-11:45 P1 Testing (full race lap course)
14:00 Round 7 of the 2007 Powerboat P1 World Championship
The Powerboat P1 British Grand Prix of the Sea – Endurance
14:30 The Isle of Wight Challenge
16:45 Podium Presentation
17:15-18:00 Support Event Practice

Saturday 25 August

09:00-10:30 Practice Course Open for support events
11:00-12:00 Class 3C & V-24 – 15 Laps
12:00-13:00 Jet Skis Endurance Race
13:00-14:00 Honda 4 Stroke 150 Series – 15 laps
14:15-15:15 Honda 4 Stroke 225 Series – 15 laps
15:30-16:30 International RIB Endurance Race – 15 laps
16:45-17:30 P1 Testing on full circuit
16:45 Podium Presentation

Sunday 26 August

08:45-09:45 Class 3C & V-24 – 15 Laps
10:00-11:00 Honda 4 Stroke 150 Series – 15 laps
11:15-12:45 Thundercats & Jet Skis Match Racing & Demos (off Egypt point)
13:15-14:15 Honda 4 Stroke 225 Series – 15 laps
15:00-16:30 Round 8 of the 2007 Powerboat P1 World Championship
The Powerboat P1 British Grand Prix of the Sea – Rally
16:45 Podium Presentation

(timings subject to change)