World record bid

THE World Circuit Power Boat Championships will be held on the Manning River at Taree starting Friday May 23 and with more than 60 drivers in three international classes competing.

Troy Marland racing Madness during the Easter Classic held on the Manning. He'll return for the world circuit championships starting May 23.

Troy Marland racing Madness during the Easter Classic held on the Manning. He'll return for the world circuit championships starting May 23.

Two world championship titles are there to be won.

"It is very exciting times for the sport and the 'worlds' bring out the best of the best,'' Australian based world promoter Tony Walsh said.

"It is great to see Australia at the forefront of this international sport, we deserve to be there, and we have so many talented pilots."

Classes include:

o UIM Unlimited Displacement World Championship

o UIM 6.0 Litre Displacement World Championship

o SST120 outboard tunnels

o Grand Prix Hydroplanes

o KT / 5.0 Litre Hydroplanes combined

o Barefoot ski demonstration

o Juniors

o F4 tunnel boat demonstration

Troy Marland is returning for his third year in his blown alcohol powered boat (BAD) Madness. He dominated the recent Easter Classic held on the Manning.

Marland is aiming to make it a hat-trick in world titles this year, and being powered by at 540 cubic inch Chevrolet engine, he will be hard to beat. Last year he registered the world speed record for the unlimited class in more than 153mph adding another world record to the team's very successful history.

Competition in this class is strong with another seven entrants, meaning it will be the highest point scorer after the heats that will be this year's world champion. Since in the inception of compulsory reinforced cockpits the safety of the sport has improved considerably The new safety rule took a lot of teams off the water, however the sport is coming back stronger than ever, and the safety is the number one priority, Walsh said.

With the strongest and toughest 6.0 Litre Class in recent history, this will be without a doubt one of the hardest classes of the weekend.

All of the entrants race extremely close, touching 'gunnel strips' is just part of it, and drivers must be prepared to race side by side into a corner, water spray limiting vision, until they come out the other side.

This is only the second opportunity of a world championship title for class, with Chris Whalan in his Extreme Sacrifice taking out the first title in 2012. However, this year every entrant has the opportunity to win and it will be tough worlds for sure.

The SST120 Outboard Tunnel Class provides spectacular dock starts with more than 10 boats heading to the first corner together.

Boats are held to the dock by their crew and engines off. When the clock starts, pilots must start the boat and take off in their qualifying position to the first corner. With 15 lap races, the water is churning and the concentration level must perfect to take out at SST120 race.

Current Grand Prix world champion Grant Harrison is heading up the GP Hydro class. Harrison is also no stranger to racing on the Manning.

The event is a three day event, with free entry on Friday for a full on-water practice session, SST120 qualifying, official drivers' briefing and all the heat and poll draws to take place at 6pm in the World's Fastest Bar licensed marquee in the general admission area.

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