Watch Powerboat Racing
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Fewer things in life get the adrenaline flowing like blasting along with your backside scraping ‘the surface’ with a hugely powerful engine roaring at your rear. Some people might do this in a car when the surface in question is smooth uniform tarmac. Pah! That’s for big girls! Those with serious balls do it in a boat when said surface is uneven water or could be downright choppy!
Blasting along going stupid fast in a vehicle becomes much more ‘interesting’ when you start bouncing around on the sea, or get thrown into the air by a monster wave, or cross the wake left by a fellow driver. This happens a lot in powerboat racing and powerboat racing happens a lot in Malta.
The crystalline blue seas make for an ideal and usually fairly smooth race circuit for these immensely high-powered, turbo-charged, bullet shaped boats to churn around. There are several minor races held on the island’s shores but the undoubted highlight of the island’s boating year has to be the Maltese Grand Prix of the Sea – one of the fixtures in the Powerboat P1 calendar.
Racing starts in the spring and is launches in the Grand Harbour of Valletta. If you head down there you’ll be free to admire the powerboats up close and personal in their full glory. It’s a two-day event and throughout this time the boats cut a swathe through the blue waves in races called the Super Sport Class Sprint and the Super Sport Class Endurance.
The racing is followed up with various evening activities that range from performances by live bands, activities for kids, night parties, and podium presentations for the winners.
Large crowds of local islanders and tourists flock to the waterfront to catch a glimpse of this spectacular event. The programme also includes the traditional ‘round the island’ race, which, as the name implies, you can see from anywhere around the coast.
With the regular technological developments being made in what is still a relatively new sport, it’s not unusual to see history being made as world records are smashed out of sight by the new state-of-the-art craft. The speeds at which they travel have to be seen to be believed and can reach upwards of 250kmh or 150mph.
The Maltese Grand Prix of the Sea is a continuation of a series of Grand Prix races that take place around the world. The drivers combat blinding speed, deafening engine noise and sometimes challenging sea conditions as they hurtle about just a few metres away from each other.
It’s a true feat of engineering, skill and trust in fellow competitors, which takes on an extra special aspect when you place it against a backdrop like the Grand Harbour of Valletta.
Aside from the island’s ‘Blue Riband’ event, the Malta Powerboat Association stages a full programme of racing each year with meetings taking place each month from March to September. You can see a full programme by checking out the MPA website using the link below.
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