High powered F1 powerboat action returns to the Clarence River this weekend.
High powered F1 powerboat action returns to the Clarence River this weekend. CONTRIBUTED

Powerboats ready for big Clarence race

IF YOU look at a photo and think someone did a Photoshop job by adding a bloke behind a formula boat, let me assure you they didn't.

It's probably one of the most uncomfortable - and certainly noisiest - roles anyone can fill in the Australian Formula Powerboat Grand Prix Series.

AFPGPS president Gavin Simmons said they were called "holders", whose job is to do exactly that.

"They hold the boats for the start of the races to make sure they are straight," Simmons said.

"It is certainly loud for them but I'll be in the cockpit so it doesn't worry me too much."

Simmons will be one of more than 30 competitors in this weekend's round on the Clarence River in Grafton. All eyes will be on the Formula 1 battle between Damien McKenzie and Paul Eade, who will fight it out for top spot in boats that can go from 0-100kmh in five seconds.

Queenslander McKenzie has set the pace for the "last few years", but Eade arrived from Victoria with a boat that could more than match the speedster and took out the last round at Wagga.

Simmons said the battle would be one to behold, but the other classes threw up their own intriguing races.

"In the Formula 3 series Will Parker leads his dad Kevin which doesn't happen every day," Simmons said.

"There are heaps of father-son pairings in the powerboat fraternity but the Parkers are the only ones that race."

It marks the third time AFPGPS has held a round on the Clarence River, with two full days of competition starting at 9am.



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