WATCH: Thousands cheer on powerboats as Grand Prix of the sea returns to Gosport

Thousands headed down to Gosport's seafront for sun, sea and adrenaline-pounding jet ski and powerboat action over the weekend.

Monday, 11th July 2016, 6:00 am
One of the powerboats in action at Stokes Bay Pictures: Keith Woodland (160992-250)

The P1 English Grand Prix of the Sea marked its third consecutive year at Stokes Bay and there was plenty of action for the on-lookers.

Cloudy weather on the Saturday morning soon passed on as large crowds lined the beach with binoculars to catch a glimpse of the frenetic action.

Powerboat fan Emilia Costa, from London, was one of the first to grab a seat along the beach and got swept up in the drama out on the Solent.

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She said: ‘I’ve come down especially for this event.

‘I usually come down to see the America’s Cup in Portsmouth and thought that this might be a good way to whet my appetite ahead of the big tournament later on in the month.

‘Its fantastic, the rush you get from seeing the boats and jet skis facing off with another is like nothing else.

‘I’m having a really good time, it’s been worth it.’

While the P1 Supertock and P1 AquaX racers tore up waves along the Solent, crowds gathered along the shore.

Stalls, fairground attractions and food tents were available for visitors to enjoy while live music entertained the crowds on the Saturday and Sunday.

Sue Forrester and Dawn Allum were attending the event for the first time after moving to Gosport last summer.

Ms Allum said: ‘We love watersports and we had heard a little about it so we have been very excited about this weekend.

‘We just love the noise and adrenaline of it all.

‘It’s been tremendously exciting.

Lisa Barsby, one of the organisers of the event, said that she hopes the racing weekend creates a ‘legacy’ at Stokes Bay.

She said: ‘The past few years have been successful for us, despite getting some bad weather in 2015.

‘The people of Gosport have taken to the event and Stokes Bay is a great venue to bring racing like this to a strong audience.

‘We want to keep it going here and build a legacy.

‘It’s just all about families having a good time watching fast powerboats and jet skis tear up the Solent and it is free! It’s perfect entertainment.’

A total of 14 races wowed the crowds over the two days before a prize giving topped the action-packed weekend off.

The P1 series will now move on to Whiting, Indiana, USA for August 6.