The British Thundercat racing championship gets underway on Saturday April 18, with the RYA recommending spectators head to Boscombe beach

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Boscombe beach is set to host the season opener of the British Thundercat racing championship this weekend (April 18-19).

These 12ft inflatable speed machines will race between Boscombe and Bournemouth piers from 11:00 to 15:30.

Thundercats are powered by 50hp outboard engines and piloted by a two-person team racing around a close-to-shore circuit, making them a spectator’s favourite.

More than 20 teams have entered this year’s championship and anticipated front-runners include Lymington’s Team 33 (Bligh Julius and Charles Hatfield) and Team Microlink (organiser James Tapp and Ed Redman).

Thundercat racing was invented in South Africa in the 1980s and has since caught on all across the world, with 18 countries now hosting their own UIM-classified race series.

Throughout the season teams have to compete across three types of courses: surf, circuit and long distance.

Upcoming events include Watergate Bay (May 8-10), Fistral Bay (May 30-31), Southsea (27-28 June) and Swansea (August 8-9) before the finals at Newquay’s Tolcarne Beach Complex from September 18-20.