Known as the ‘world’s toughest watersport’, ThunderCat Racing returns to Watergate Bay for a fourth year of adrenaline and action on Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 May from 12pm.
All photography © Tim Tapping.
Expect high drama, big airs and even people overboard as The Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay gets set to host the 3rd and 4th rounds of the 2015 RYA British ThunderCat Championship over the weekend of Friday 8 – Sunday 10 May.
For those not in the know, ThunderCats are four-metre long inflatable powerboat catamarans capable of reaching speeds of up to 60mph thanks to their 50hp outboard engines.
Each boat is crewed by two people: a driver to steer and a co-pilot to stabilise the boat and achieve the greatest speed possible around the M-shaped course. Those attending can expect a truly great spectator sport, as the action passes just 10m from the shoreline in a circuit race that fights against the incoming surf.
Friday will be a safety training day for all new racers, with the main action taking place on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-4pm each day. Podium presentations will take place soon after the racing finishes.
Spectators can choose to watch the action from the shore, the cliffs or even The Beach Hut terrace if the weather turns damp.
King of the Surf
This year’s event at Watergate Bay will not only count towards the 2015 RYA British ThunderCat Championship but a new new three-round Cornish series. The aptly entitled ‘King Of The Surf Championship’ will see three rounds of races hitting Cornish shores throughout the year, with rounds 3 and 4 taking place at Fistral Beach on 30-31 May and round 5 & 6 at Tolcarne Beach 18-19 September.
The winner of the King Of The Surf Championship will have have accumulated the most points over the 6 rounds raced in Cornwall, with the point system identical to that used in the 2015 RYA British ThunderCat Championship.
Did you know…
– ThunderCats are inflatable catamarans predominately manufactured in South Africa where the sport began back in the early 1980’s.
– The name ThunderCat comes from one of the very first racing series in Australia 20 years ago.
– ThunderCat Racing is a global sport with championships taking place in 18 countries. The Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) is the international governing body and the British Championship is governed by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).
– ThunderCat Racing has three disciplines designed to push teams to the limit:
– M-SHAPE is mainly run in surf and is a short course approx 200m x 300m
– CIRCUIT is a larger course approx 500m x 500m for achieving maximum speeds of (110 kpm), like this event held at Watergate Bay
– LONGHAUL/ENDURO is run over a distance of 100km+ where teams race along a stretch of coast and around a checkpoint.
– The catamarans in ThunderCats can reach speeds of up to 60mph.
– Depending on the driver and wave conditions, they can reach heights of up to 15ft in the air.
For a full 2015 event round up at Watergate Bay view our Events Calendar.