Rounds 1 & 2 British National Thundercat Racing Championships
If you go back 4 or 5 years, Thundercat Racing was unheard of in the northern hemisphere, now it is a global force to be reckoned with; taking the world by storm, 18 Countries are already flying the Thundercat Racing Flag, some since the inception of its 30 year history. The high octane sport features 50 horsepower, tiller-controlled inflatable catamarans, piloted by two crew members who must use shifting body weight to help steer and control the craft. The combination of light weight and high speed leads to an intense spectacle; as vessels slice through the water one minute and soar up to 10 feet in the air the next.
The 5th – 7th of April saw the sport make its way to Gibraltar for the first time, as Eastern Beach played host to the 2013 UK opening event. Eleven British teams travelled to Gibraltar to kick off the season’s races, in the first two rounds of the UK Championships. Thundercat UK is overseen the UK’s Royal Yachting Association and the international UIM governing body; which governs events from teams from around the world; from its birthplace in South Africa, to New Zealand, Europe and South America.
Gibraltar provided both venue as well as talent; Leslie Figueras and co-pilot Jeremy Mamo got a taste of the adrenaline pumping competition on a boat kindly provided by Thundercat Racing UK. They weren’t the only locals though, as Wesley Warwick took part for the first time with “Team Surrey Joinery” who were short a co-pilot. Even as first timers, they showed their competitors a real challenge and over the weekend, the team took top spot for the Gibraltar Grand Prix.
The event was a tremendous success, drawing support and sponsorship from a number of Gibraltar’s businesses, as well as a strong spectator attendance in Eastern Beach over the weekend. Thundercat Racing UK and UIM were equally impressed and have awarded the venue to Gibraltar for the 2014 European Championship. No doubt we’ll be seeing even more participation from Gibraltar’s racers.
Dates and further info are already posted on the website: thundercatracing.com, and there’s a definite sense of anticipation as the tour listing states: “What needs to be said about Gibraltar.. apart from we wish we could race there every weekend!! Anyone with a inflatable catamaran needs to be at this event as it will be the highlight of the year, sun, sea and fantastic hosts!”. So if you’re an adrenaline junkie or just enjoying the end-of-season sun and spectacle, clear your schedule for the first week of October because this European Championship event is not to be missed.