40 top powerboat racers head for Jurassic Gateway Grand-prix at Exmouth for this weekend’s racing

The third round of the RYA British National Powerboat Championship at Exmouth this weekend has attracted 40 of Britain’s top crews. Organised by British Inflatable Boat Owners Association and Exe Powerboat and Ski Club, the two-day series is a vital one for competitors, as points count towards a coveted place in the RYA National Championship to be held off Gibraltar in November.

With the beach and cliffs surrounding the River Exe estuary acting as a natural amphitheatre, spectators are assured a grandstand view of the excitement. The programme is designed for all the family, commencing on Saturday 6th July with an air/sea rescue demonstration by the RNLI and Coastguard services at 1130.

Saturday’s race, styled The Dash for Cash? opens with a Le Mans style start, with drivers running down the beach to leap into their boats before chasing off round an 18.5 mile course to Torbay and back.

At 1830, competitors and their boats will join a carnival procession through the Town accompanied by a jazz band.

Sunday’s offshore race will start close to the beach and clock tower at 1100.

Competing classes include class III, 4litre, 2litre and 1.3litre, Pro-vee and Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBS) Among those to watch out for is local ace Stuart Anthony and his 80mph R21 Graffiti? who is currently tied in 1st place in the Formula I RIB class with Jackie Hunt, the sole lady driver in this Class.

“The Le Man start should provide quite a spectacle with competitors and perhaps spectators getting their feet wet,” says John Puddifoot, the RYA’s Powerboat Racing Manager who will also be competing in his R6 Dragon’s Revenge? which leads the Formula 2 Rib class. “This is a new concept in powerboat racing, and if successful could well be introduced at other events around the Country.”