Thrills out on the water in ThunderCat races

One of the boats in the  RYA ThunderCat National Championships.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (151131-136)
One of the boats in the RYA ThunderCat National Championships.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (151131-136)

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  • Thundercat racing makes its debut in Portsmouth
  • Organiser hopes it can return to host European championships
  • People travel from far and wide to watch
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Soaring across the Solent at great speeds, crowds gathered on the beach were enthralled by the excitement. ThunderCat racing arrived in Portsmouth this weekend.

It was the first time the event had taken place in the city and was part of the eighth leg of the British championships.

Spectators watch the racing.'' Picture: Allan Hutchings (151131-849)

Spectators watch the racing.'' Picture: Allan Hutchings (151131-849)

ThunderCat Racing is the fastest growing watersport in the world and sees teams of people racing through the water on inflatable boats.

Running over two days, teams travelled from across the UK to take part.

The event was organised by Portsmouth-born-and-bred powerboat sailor Alan Priddy.

Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones handed out the trophies.

It’s yet another great sporting event we can host in Portsmouth which ties in nicely with the America’s Cup

Donna

She said: ‘I am very pleased that we have had the first ThunderCats race here in Portsmouth as part of the British championships.

‘When you are sitting on the beach watching it, the speed looks fast. I can’t imagine how much faster it must feel when you are in there.’

And Cllr Jones hopes it can return to the city.

‘It’s yet another great sporting event we can host in Portsmouth which ties in nicely with the America’s Cup,’ she said.

On Castle Field there were market stalls, live music from a host of local bands, a dog show and martial arts demonstrations.

People travelled from far and wide to watch the action unfold on the Solent.

Karen Adams, 53, travelled down with her family from Swindon.

She said: ‘I think it’s great. It’s quite exciting.

‘I went down to Newport when they had it there before, just to see what it was like.

‘It was a good thing to have and members of the public can just come and watch it and find out all about it.’

Caroline and Jonathan Bailey only made the short journey from Waterlooville to watch the racing.

Caroline said: ‘It’s absolutely brilliant. We thought “it’s on a Sunday afternoon so it’s something to come and see”. I’m not particularly into boats but it’s a good spectacle.

‘With the America’s Cup coming up, it’s something else water-based happening, which is good.’

Jonathan added: ‘It’s something different. It’s really good. You can get in among them and see everything. It’s thrilling to watch.

‘I think it’s going to gain additional interest in the future.’

Peter Cox, 70, from Widley, said: ‘We were just walking along and wanted to see what was happening.

‘There is a nice bit of space here that can be used so it’s good. I would come and watch this again. It’s just by chance that we found it but it’s quite interesting.’