Powerboat racing is back on off Bournemouth

Powerboat racing is back on off Bournemouth

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THE first two races of this year's revised UK offshore powerboat season are set to roar into life out of Poole Harbour at the bank holiday weekend. (August 29/30)

In a year of cancelled sporting events, the United Kingdom Offshore Racing Association (UKOPRA) says it has been able to implement a range of safety measures to ensure the racing off Bournemouth and Poole can take place.

And for Dorset brothers Glynn and Lee Norvall the start cannot come soon enough.

Glynn, who heads the E.Marine Racing team, said: "We have had the boat ready to race for some time now and we are just happy to be back on the start line with a 30 miles race on the Saturday starting at 12pm and 70 miles on the Sunday.

"UKOPRA have been working hard to put everything in place which hasn’t been easy for them because races are never completely contained as we usually share pontoons and other spaces with the general public so safety is key.’’

One thing power boat racing has in its favour is the fact spectators are spread out across the coast, making social distancing less of an issue than other sports.

Glynn, a 16-year powerboat veteran from Ringwood Road, Christchurch, will be partnering his brother Lee, who lives at Bransgore.

They are racing a P1 Panther, which is 28ft long, boasts 250 horse power and is capable of 72mph.

Last year Glynn came third in the Cowes Poole Cowes race which was cancelled this year but will resume again in 2021.

Glynn said: "We came third in India in the World Championships in 2017 in the P1 Superstock Series, and last year I raced in Hong Kong with the Singapore Powerboat Club.

"But nothing beats home waters surrounded by friends and family."

The two races take place out of Poole Quay Haven, from midday, on Saturday and Sunday.

The racers sit two in a boat and teams are small, each boat in the dry pits is naturally a good four metres away from the next boat and all the teams only come together for briefings, but even this can now be cut down to simply one member of the team at briefing, organisers say.