Belfast Telegraph

Venture Cup to make waves in Belfast as Ireland gets ready to host world's longest, toughest powerboat race

Major festivals set for Belfast, Cork, Kerry, Galway, Killybegs and Dublin

By Ralph Riegel

The world’s toughest powerboat event is set to bring the incredible spectacle and thrills of 216kmh offshore racing to Ireland this summer.

More than one million people are set to savour the incredible thrills of the Venture Cup featuring state-of-the-art racing boats like Vector Martini which are capable of speeds of more than 216kmh (130mph).

The 2016 event, partnered with Independent News & Media, will also feature a galaxy of star participants including Bruno Senna, David Gandy and Bear Grylls.

The famous race will also showcase Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way as boats race from Cork to Belfast and then Dublin.

The boats will speed past Northern Ireland's Giant's Causeway and the Titanic Quarter, with public festivals being planned for each harbour along the way.

A total of 25 teams will this year contest the week-long Venture Cup which has been described as the world’s longest, toughest, most prestigious and awe-inspiring powerboat race.

From June 10, the Venture Cup will co-ordinate with major festivals in Cork, Kerry, Galway, Killybegs, Belfast and Dublin.

One of the most exciting legs is expected to be the Cork-Dingle segment – including having the boats speed along the Kerry coast against the backdrop of Skellig Michael and the ongoing Star Wars filming.

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It will finish in Dublin on June 19 – and will be broadcast to 70 channels worldwide and a global audience running into millions.

The Venture Cup is also assisting with vital fundraising having partnered with the Irish charity, Haven.

Event director Aidan Foley, speaking as the Vector Martini powerboat was put through its pace in Cork harbour, said it promises to be one of the sporting highlights of Ireland’s 2016 calendar.

“This is a return to true adventure and excitement in racing” he said.

“We have been seeing too much predictability in motorsport right now.

But when you add the types of conditions we’re expecting into a mix of 25 top international teams full of personality and courage you get a sports event which is wildly more exciting than anything else,” he said.

“We think people are going to love following this race. Whether they are watching on land or on-line, we are going to give them something very special, unique and beautiful thanks to the wild Irish coastline.”

The boats boast engines with an incredible 2,200 horse power and will race for 320km (200 miles) each day when the race opens on June 12.

In the 2015 race, the Vector V40R boat broke four speed records on Coniston Water in England’s Lake District.

The powerboat also retained the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes title with an astonishing maximum speed of 216kmh (135mph).

Venture Racing Director and multiple world powerboat racing champion, Peter Dredge, said it is a very exciting race schedule.

“This is going to push teams and their raceboats to the absolute limit,” he said.

“The wild Atlantic coast of Ireland is no place for the faint-hearted, and only the bravest and best prepared will succeed.”

“Even in the middle of summer we will be encountering 15-metre swells as we race along the some of the most dramatic and demanding coastlines in Europe”.

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Irish Independent


From Belfast Telegraph