THERE will be plenty of thrills and spills on the water at Bournemouth this weekend as the high-speed action of powerboat racing comes to town.

The town is hosting the start of the new P1 race season, with powerboat racers and jet ski riders.

A fleet of 10 P1 Panther powerboats and more than 30 personal watercraft racers will take to the water in the UK SuperStock and AquaX championships on Saturday and Sunday in the Bournemouth Grand Prix of the Sea.

P1 chief executive James Durbin said: “Our extensive event line-up on both sides of the Atlantic makes P1 the world’s largest marine motorsport brand, with a total of 12 events this year and around 180 competitors across our powerboat and jet ski championships.

“Named ‘best UK coastal resort at the British Travel Awards, Bournemouth, is an exciting new venue on our UK race calendar and we are looking forward to serving up a feast of free-to-watch sport and entertainment for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

The P1 organising team said that the growth of Bournemouth’s free events programme, which included last weekend’s Wheels Festival, was a major factor in it decided to come to town.

Jon Weaver, marketing and events manager at Bournemouth Tourism, said he was “delighted” that P1 would be joining the events line-up.

“We have a superb amphitheatre setting for spectators to watch the racing from the cliff tops or the beach, and our Bournemouth-branded race boat is sure to be a big attraction. We have plenty of bed space and lots of entertainment for visitors who want to enjoy the double bill of powerboat and jet ski racing,” he said.

The Bournemouth races are scheduled to be shown on Sky Sports in July, while the 3-race UK series continues in Hull, Cardiff, Torquay and Gosport.