For the first time in 10 years the Australian Formula Powerboat Grand Prix will race in Taree the weekend of February 16 and 17.
This will be the opening round of the series and it will be held in conjunction with a Taree Powerboat Club’s race day.
Five classes, including the Formula 1, will be decided over the two days.
"We’re expecting about 15 to 20 races each day,’’ Taree Powerboat Club spokesman Scott Godfrey said.
The Grand Prix boats first came to Taree around 2004 and were regulars here for around five years before moving on.
Mr Godfrey concedes the approach to race here again was unexpected.
“They contacted us about racing on our club day. We were only too happy to have them here,’’ he said.
Mr Godfrey said the Taree club events will be held in between the GP races.
“Our club will be having five races a day, including juniors,’’ he explained.
The Formula One series will be contested over four rounds. Taree will be followed by Mulwala in conjunction with the Griffith Cup on April 6 and 7.
The boats will head to Victoria’s Lake Charm on May 18 and 19 with the final round to be hosted by St George Motorboat Club in Sydney on June 29 and 30.
Mr Godfrey said a lack of suitable venues due to the drought in Victoria forced the series management to look to NSW for alternatives.
“There’s not enough water in Victoria,’’ he explained.
According to the Australian Formula Powerboat Grand Prix Facebook page current title holder Simon Troy in 888 Racing will be a sure starter at Taree.
Racing will start at 9am on both days on a course similar to the Taree club’s Easter Classic.
“We should be finished around 3pm, depending on the conditions,’’ Mr Godfrey said.
“The series has a pretty loyal following, so I’d say we’ll get people here from Sydney, Newcastle and maybe even Queensland,’’ he said.
“There’ll be an open pit, so people can go down and have a look at the boats.’’
Mr Godfrey admits the club is unsure if the boats will return next year.
“I’d say we’ll speak to them when this year’s series is finished,’’ he said.