20 August, 2015, Gold Coast – The teams have arrived, the excitement is building and the countdown to the XCAT Gold Coast GP is well and truly underway.
14 teams will battle it out in the fourth round of the UIM XCAT Powerboating World Series in Australia this weekend, with the first official practice scheduled for Friday, 21 August.
Large crowds of fans are expected to soak up the carnival atmosphere at Doug Jennings Park during the speedy spectacular, which will be broadcast live to 450 million homes around the world – an XCAT record.
Thanks to live on-board cameras and even a drone, this will be XCAT TV coverage like never before.
“I think the excitement is building. You can feel it as you talk to the drivers and the event organisers,” said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.
“I know that the XCAT World Series is a world class event and we want to make sure the Gold Coast plays its part to make sure that when it’s shown here, we can also deliver a world class event for round four.”
As for the home challenge, Tate added: “We’ve got six Australian drivers – and a home-grown driver, Tom Barry-Cotter in Australia’s Gold Coast boat so I’m a little bit biased there and if he can do well, I’ll be very happy for him and for us.
“What I said to him is: ‘No pressure, do your best.’ The competition is immense, especially from the XDubai team who are currently leading the series. I have been to their office – their organisation – and they have wall-to-wall trophies so they are very consistent and they’ll be hard to beat but hey, on the Gold Coast when you’re racing anything can happen.”
Known to be a sports lover, Tate admitted he could just be convinced to have a go in one of the boats himself – but only after the event.
“I don’t want to do anything wrong and jeopardise anyone’s chances,” he laughed.
“Everyone knows that I like to have a go at things. I’m an extreme sports sort of person so when I go out I want to do my best as well but it will be post the event and be a bit of fun.”
Fun will certainly be had throughout the weekend, with free entry for the general public and exciting activities on offer both on and off the water.