The waters of Torbay welcomed the recent return of powerboat racing for a belated weekend of competition to round off the summer.

Powerboats return to TorquayPowerboats return to Torquay

After weeks of preparation and meeting new safety guidelines in place, organisers from the Offshore Circuit Racers’ Driving Association (OCRDA) were able to host two days of racing.

“The event was much more successful than we could have hoped,” said OCRDA secretary Cath Lovell.

“The build-up was so intense and meeting all the safety requirements, particularly with Covid, took weeks of work.

“As part of that risk assessment, we purposefully didn’t advertise the event but it was still so busy, and really well received by locals, visitors and businesses. The feedback afterwards was also very positive and a general good feeling to see sport back on the water again.

“The racers loved being back in Torbay and the weeks of organising were definitely worth it. One example was to remove all paper from the event, so everything is now done through an app, which is particularly important for racers’ indemnity and safety.”

The racing weekend has become key to the summer economy of Torbay and, all being well, the powerboats will be back early next summer for a world class event.

“Our next race is scheduled for the weekend of October 10/11 in West Bay, Dorset,” said Cath. “It is around 90 minutes from Torbay and we are lucky at OCRDA because Torbay is our home.

“The racing season normally starts in May with a Torbay event. This year, we were due to host some of the UIM World Championship classes but that was cancelled because of Covid.

“We are hoping for that event to be rescheduled for next June in Torbay. The racers love coming to Torbay and the event is really well supported. The harbourmaster and his team are a great help, which ensures a terrific three days of racing.

“The powerboating community hopefully bring a boost to the local economy as well, with racers, officials and spectators all enjoying Torbay amenities and businesses.”