This weekend, NE1 will be staging its 3rd annual NE1 Zapcat Grand Prix powerboat race on the Tyne.
Over the two-day racing weekend events will take place between 11am – 5.30pm on Saturday and 10am – 2pm on Sunday on a technically challenging course mapped out between the Tyne and Millennium bridges.
This is the only event for which the Tyne is closed off and the speed restrictions lifted to allow the boats to reach speeds in excess of 45 miles per hour and pull 3Gs in the turns.
Speed plus agility makes this an adrenalin fuelled event and one that creates a fantastic spectacle on the river, often described as Formula One on the water.
Zapcat powerboat racing is a relatively new sport which is growing in popularity – over the past two years NE1’s Zapcat Grand Prix has attracted crowds of over 25K each year and helped boost business for Quayside firms by over 50% on race days.
This year, more than 15 powerboat teams from all over the UK will be competing for the coveted title of NE1 Zapcat Grand Prix winner, all the action set against the spectacular backdrop of Newcastle Quayside.
Newcastle is one of only a couple of cities that host Zapcat Grand Prix racing events bringing spectators up close to the action, most other locations on the UK circuit take place at the coast, or seaside.
Heats are held across both days with 7 boats competing per heat with 2 finals each day. The ultimate goal is to win the coveted NE1 Zapcat Grand Prix trophy and improve rankings in the Zapcat National Championship. Last year’s winners were the Haggis Hunters, a father and daughter team from Edinburgh who were first inspired to get involved in the sport after watching the inaugural NE1 Zapcat Grand Prix in 2012.
Commenting on this year’s NE1 Zapcat Grand Prix, Stephen Patterson, Director of Communications at NE1 said:
“We’re delighted to be hosting our 3rd NE1 Zapcat Grand Prix in Newcastle on 30/31 August. The event has become a firm fixture in NE1’s annual events programme and we’re expecting record numbers of competitors and spectators. This is the reason we installed the marina two years ago to bring the river back to life and to increase the vibrancy and atmosphere of Newcastle. With crowds of over 25,000 gathering to watch the explosive action we feel we have gone some way to achieving this aim and we can’t wait to watch the drama unfold this year.”
Jamie Stickler, Zapcat Powerboats said:
“Newcastle is a fantastic venue for the NE1 Zapcat Grand Prix and it is one of the most exciting racing venues in the season. Our competitors look forward to racing in Newcastle to show off their skills to the crowds that gather on the Quayside and on the bridges. They are so close to the action with an all round view of the racing action which spurs on our competitors.”