TAREE Aquatic Powerboat Club officials expect up to four Grand Prix Hydroplanes to be in action in this weekend's Easter Powerboat Classic on the Manning River.
Commodore Laurie Dege said there three GP boats are booked in for sure. This includes Victorian Grant Harrison, a former world champion and regular visitor to the Manning, who will steer GP1.
Local driver Ian Bryant will enter Mathemagic while Wayne Smith from the Hawkesbury will be in GP60. Smith is also regular visitor.
Western Australian James Tate, the driver of Hi Tension GP55 is also down to race. However, Mr Dege said this will be subject to negotiation with the Australian Powerboat Association.
There will again be action in the air and on the water on Sunday, with former Old Bar resident, aerobatic pilot Paul Bennett returning to put on a show. Bennett thrilled crowds at last year's classic with his performance. This will start at noon on Sunday.
"At this stage we should have more than 60 boats here, which is pretty good,'' Mr Dege said.
He added competition with other events around Australia has had an impact, particularly with South Australian-based drivers.
Mr Dege said around 30 races will be scheduled for each day. Junior demonstration events will start the day before the main program is underway from 10am both days.
Events to be conducted include the Geoff Stevenson Memorial (unlimited- all classes), Bradley Pratt Memorial (unlimited Inboard), Vic Currie Invitational (unlimited displacement, including 6 litre), MSC Signs Super 6 Litre Challenge, Liberty Cup (unlimited displacement), King of the River (unlimited- all classes), Eastway Shield (NSW unlimited Inboard, Max Kirwin (Australian unlimited hydroplane), Keith Swift Cup (Prostock Australian title), Lawson Shield - 6 litre hydroplane Australian title), NSW State Council Trophy (superstock restricted Class), Griffith Boat Club Trophy (6000cc normally aspirated displacement championship, Australian Dulux Trophy(unlimited unblown displacement).
The two day classic will end with the King of the River.
Mr Dege said now all that is needed is favourable weather.
Big crowds are again expected to line riverbank vantage points to watch the action