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Power pack join festival

PUBLISHED: 15:57 14 May 2008 | UPDATED: 09:44 23 August 2010

making waves: V24 class powerboat.

making waves: V24 class powerboat.

THE thrills of powerboat racing are coming to this summer s Big Day Out festival. Revellers will see the extraordinary boats when, for the first time, the Gravesend Reporter-sponsored event features the fifth race in the V24 season, on Saturday, July 5,

THE thrills of powerboat racing are coming to this summer's Big Day Out festival.

Revellers will see the extraordinary boats when, for the first time, the Gravesend Reporter-sponsored event features the fifth race in the V24 season, on Saturday, July 5, and Sunday, July 6.

Andy Twemlow, who won the British championship for V24 class powerboats in 2006, will join racing colleague Cliff Smith as they compete in the popular inshore racing competitions.

The high-performance, gull-winged boats which reach speeds of up to 80mph raced at Torquay at the weekend in the opening stage of the season. Mr Twemlow said: "The new racing season will be a great opportunity for people to see some thrilling action."

Running from May until September, the season is coordinated by Offshore Racing Drivers' Association (ORDA). It tests competitors' skills through a series of gruelling racing competitions that include chicanes and high-speed turns in often choppy and rough courses.

Boats that have to meet stringent safety standards are fitted with scuba-type air supplies to protect drivers in case of emergency. Power is supplied by a 5.7 litre V8 inboard engine, giving each boat a power-to-weight ratio of 280 brake horsepower per ton.

This year's Big Day Out will feature a weekend programme of musical acts, river events, a fireworks display and Northfleet Carnival. It is staged at Riverside Leisure Area on July 5.

The Town Regatta features on both days. On Sunday the emphasis switches to a maritime festival highlighting historic connections with the Thames.

Land Securities, developer of Ebbsfleet Valley, is to sponsor the event alongside the Gravesend Reporter.

Councillor David Turner, cabinet member with responsibility for leisure, said: "This year's Big Day Out is going to be the biggest and most exciting ever and it is great news that Land Securities is offering significant sponsorship. It is appropriate that a company bound up so closely with the future of Gravesham and Ebbsfleet Valley is to be synonymous with the community festival.

"This represents the next step in a long and fruitful relationship."

Dozens of other attractions are lined up. For the latest information, see www.gravesham.gov.uk/bdoplus

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