ILFRACOMBE Harbour is once again preparing to host North Devon s action packed annual powerboat racing event and this Saturday and Sunday it will be bigger and better than ever before. Racers from across the country will descend on the town later this wee

ILFRACOMBE Harbour is once again preparing to host North Devon's action packed annual powerboat racing event and this Saturday and Sunday it will be bigger and better than ever before.Racers from across the country will descend on the town later this week to join the Ilfracombe Powerboat Grand Prix, where there will be Offshore Circuit Racing and, for the first time, Class III National Championships. It is one of a series of races held at coastal locations across the country and makes up part of the Royal Yachting Association's British Championships and the Devon Cup.The flagship sporting event is run by North Devon Council's Harbour Master, Lieutenant Commander Rob Lawson. In the six years that the race has been running it has become a hugely popular spectator sport, due to the deep water close to the pier, Capstone and Lantern Hill, which provide plenty of viewing room. The pit lanes in the Cove area opposite the harbour also provide plenty of spectacle.It is a very successful attraction in the North Devon sporting calendar and last year attracted around 5,000 visitors to the town.Over the weekend there will be six heats, three on Saturday afternoon between midday and 4pm, with two on Sunday between 3-4.30pm. Each heat lasts between 30 and 45 minutes."This event becomes more popular every year and the natural amphitheatre created by the Lantern and Capstone Hills provides a fantastic viewing gallery from which to enjoy the spectacle," said Lt Cmdr Lawson."So come along and enjoy the thrills and spills of this fast and furious power boat racing weekend."During the weekend a large section of Cove Car Park will be closed for parking as racing teams use the area for pit lanes. Motorists are advised to use alternative parking, such as Hillsborough Car Park next to the Swimming Pool, where there is generally plenty of space.