Radio communication company, Icom UK Ltd has signed a sponsorship deal to become Official Radio Communication Supplier to the Thundercat Powerboat Racing Series.

Thundercat Racing, run by M2M Racing Club, is an exciting community based powerboat series that uses motorised catamarans. Pilots are welcome to enter any make of boat, engine and type of propeller that complies with the regulations and rules. The main attraction of this sport is that the boats are incredibly manoeuvrable which creates for some exciting spectator sport. In addition the sport is very interactive. Part of its culture is that the pilots are approachable and the general public are encouraged to talk to them and even sit in their boats.

Icom have supplied a number of the new IC-M71 waterproof handheld transceiver to the series. The IC-M71 is currently the most waterproof handheld on the market. The IC-M71 transceiver will be used by the Race Officer, Safety officer and Timekeeper. The rescue fleet (which comprises four safety vessels) will also have IC-M71’s to co-ordinate activities in case of emergency. Icom has also supplied Thundercat Racing with an IC-F510M marine base station which will be used at the communication headquarters on land allowing the organisers to communicate and co-ordinate with its vessels from the shore. Fiona Pascoe (Chairman of M2M racing and organiser of the UK Thundercat series) said, ‘Only experienced and well-qualified personnel are employed by us to organise our events so to give them quality communications is of great importance to us.’

Fiona said, ‘We are ecstatic to have Icom on board. We want the best communications at our events and these new radios will be a genuine asset to our organisation. Rescue, race organisation and public safety are vitally important to us so we have to ensure that our communications are absolutely top notch.’

Fiona added, ‘Last year, we used the Icom IC-M1Eurov handheld transceiver very successfully, they performed very well. This year, we are looking forward to using the new radios. The extra features of the radios and the superior waterproofing will give us an incredible amount of extra flexibility whether we use them in the pit area or on the water.’

The IC-M71 is currently the most waterproof handheld on the market providing waterproof protection to IPX-8 (1.5 metre/30 min). In addition to this it has numerous features including 6 watts of output power and a high capacity lithium-ion battery.

Ian Lockyer, Marketing Manager of Icom (UK) Ltd said, ‘Icom UK is really pleased to be working with this exciting racing series. Our products are among the best in the market and I am confident that they will perform exceptionally well. It is also exciting for us to be involved as for the first time next year, the Thundercat Racing World Championships will be held in the UK.’

About Thundercat Racing

Motorised Catamaran racing began in South Africa in the early ’80’s when local crews raced inflatable boats down treacherous rivers and along the rugged coastline. Since the days of those extreme thrill-seeking pioneers, inflatable boat technology has come a long way and the sport has crossed the oceans of the world. In South Africa, Australia, USA and New Zealand Thundercat racing has dramatically grown as a sport but only competing within their own countries thus in recent years the countries including the UK and other European nations have affiliated to the UIM, the global governing body of Powerboat racing to strive to a world championship. At present, the UK is the main drive behind a global series but still keeping National racing paramount.

Thundercat racing is an open class that allows any manufacture or homologated engine that fits within the rules and specifications to race, thus giving competitive and inexpensive racing for the drivers and an exciting adrenaline spectator sport. Whilst in the UK Thundercat racing is seen as an adrenaline junkie extreme sport, in Europe it is part of P1 lifestyle giving glamour and pizzazz yet still keeping spectator and enthusiast gritting their teeth in anticipation to the thrills and spills of this exciting motor water sport.

This type of racing came to the UK and Channel Isles as an already existing class approximately four years ago, slowly but surely the series has taken foot and this year the winning team was pronounced ‘RYA National Champions’.