SPEEDING boats will provide thrills and spills this weekend as the ThunderCats come to Portsmouth.
There will be 21 two-person crews zipping through the waves off Southsea Common for the two-day event, which is being held in the city for the first time.
To complement the powerboat races there will be a festival on the common featuring market stalls, live music, a dog show, martial arts demonstrations and plenty more.
Ocean racing expert Alan Priddy is organising the event, which is free.
Mr Priddy said it would be spectacular to watch the boats race at speeds up to 60mph.
He said: ‘It’s like watching Formula One on TV but you’re actually there.
It’s like watching Formula One on TV but you’re actually there.Alan Priddy
‘The Southsea course has been designated the fastest in the UK so it will be quite something to see. It’s not uncommon for someone to be thrown out of a boat or for the boats to tip over, and although it’s classed as a non-contact sport, they do on occasion run into each other.’
Mr Priddy said he wanted to thank Portsmouth City Council for supporting the powerboat races, which he hoped would be the first of many for city.
He said: ‘The reason we are bringing them to Portsmouth is to show the teams what the city has got to offer.
‘We are hoping to hold the European championships here next year with a view to making a bid for the world championships in 2018.’
The site opens at 10am and the racing starts at midday.
Mr Priddy said teams were coming from across the UK to take part. Heats will take place on Saturday and the final race will be held on Sunday.
Mr Priddy said the action would be non-stop.
‘There’s none of this sitting around waiting for something to happen, there’ll be something going on all the time,’ he said.
Mr Priddy said two of the boats taking part were doing it as part of Prince Harry’s Endeavour Fund, which supports the recovery of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.
Bands playing tomorrow will include Quay of Sea and Simon Long, Union King and Blues Brothers Duo. On Sunday groups including Carpenters Tribute, Lucky 13 and the Mantic Muddlers will perform.