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World record awaits Great Race drivers
It will not be the same when dozens of race boats hit the waters next week Saturday for the T&T International Great Race from Trinidad to the sister isle of Tobago.
In fact, the boat that navigates the choppy waters the fastest will land itself into the world record books, Paul Gabriel, a member of the T&T Powerboat executive has said. The race which is now sanctioned by the world governing body for the sport- the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), will feature a standardized course that will take participants out of the gulf and straight to Scarborough for the finish, for a challenging 95 miles drive.
Gabriel believes the event is set to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years as his association intends to turn interests from international racers into participation.
For this year's 50th anniversary of the event, three international participants including Lucas Oil from the United States, is scheduled to take part for the first time, but organisers have had to blank two others because of the tedious process in getting boats off the port, ranging from paper-work to cost, Gabriel told Guardian Media Sports.
One of the boats, is understood to be a 54 feet catamaran called Hoski, that was expected to compete in the 130mph 'A' Class, where the country's top racers such as Mr Solo Too, the event's defending champion, Paramount, Motul Monster, Jumbie, Ironman and Cat Killer will compete.
He believes if all stakeholders, from TTPBA to government to racers, could work together in unison, the event which provides a form of recreation for many, can soon be a revenue earner for the country at large in the coming years.
He believes the event will capitalize on a large international following it has had for many years. This following will be reached out to form a first-time live platform being introduced come Saturday, and it will allow interested persons locally and internationally, to log-on online and follow the race.
"They will be able to keep track of where the boats are in the race as well as the results" Gabriel explained.
The race will feature 43 boats in nine different classes, all scheduled to receive staggered starts on the day, starting at 7:15 am for smaller boats and 8am for the A-Class competitors, which can be viewed from the Foreshore.
On Tuesday TTPBA officials will conduct an exercise on extraction with Coastguard officers while on Wednesday there will be a meet-and-greet at Club 51 Degrees.
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