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Powerboat racing at WMBRC since 1925

come and watch the racing at the oldest powerboat club in the world

Come and watch the racing!

Race days at WMBRC are open to the public.  The gardens overlooking the lake and foreshore offer a fantastic vantage point in a breathtaking setting.

  • See our contacts page for directions

  • Refreshments and toilet facilities

  • Play area for supervised children

To find out more about getting involved in the racing or support roles contact the racing secretary at  racing@wmbrc.co.uk

Please note that
parking is NOT available on race days

Watching the racing from the foreshore at Broad Leys
Poster for 1951 International Meeting

Sustainable Racing

The E1 series has recently brought sustainability to powerboat racing.  On April 20, 2024, Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club and Coryton Advanced Fuels Ltd will host the first Sustainable Handicap Racing Event.

Coryton Sustain logo

Featuring various sustainable fuel sources, from Coryton's Sustain range to HVO fuel and even an electric Nissan Leaf-powered Formula 2 Catamaran piloted by Club Commodore Ted Walsh, the event aims to showcase green technology's future in the sport.

WMBRC remains a picturesque setting for powerboat racing, now embracing innovative tech trials to shape the sport's future locally and beyond.  Partnering with leaders in R&D, the Club aims to inspire a greener approach to motorsport.  Open to all, the event encourages low-carbon transportation methods for a minimal environmental impact.

Sustainable Race Day Brochure

LIVE POWERBOAT RACING

Our racing calendar includes race days at WMBRC and races held at our sister club - The Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club (LPRC) at Carr Mill Dam near St Helens, Merseyside

Date

Location

Event

13 April 2024

LPRC

Test & Training Day at LPRC

20 April 2024

WMBRC

Race Day 1 - Sustainable Race Day

04 May 2024

LPRC

Racing at LPRC

11 May 2024

WMBRC

Race Day 2 - Rear Commodore's

15 June 2024

WMBRC

Race Day 3 - Vice Commodore’s

22 June 2024

LPRC

Racing at LPRC

06 July 2024

WMBRC

Race Day 4 - Summer Regatta

20 July 2024

LPRC

Racing at LPRC

17 Aug 2024

LPRC

Racing at LPRC

28 Sept 2024

WMBRC

Race Day 5 - Commodore's

19 Oct 2024

LPRC

Racing at LPRC

If you have attended our race days on Windermere, your feedback is invaluable to WMBRC and The Lake District National Park Authority.  Please take a few moments to complete our race day visitor survey.

History of WMBRC and motor boat racing at Broad Leys

There have been various Water Carnivals on Windermere since the 18th century, but the post war Regattas and Carnivals held in 1923 and 1924 also included events for motorboats and hydroplanes.  Between the carnivals a group of friends who owned boats met to race informally and the first trophy was presented in 1924 by Harold Pattinson to add interest to the event.  This trophy is still in existence and current drivers compete to win it annually. As more people became interested in the sport and came together, the Windermere Motor Boat Club was born on 24th October 1925.

Early powerboats at Waterhead late 1940s

Early powerboats at Waterhead in the late 1940s

'North of England whippet class' racing

'North of England whippet class' racing in 1939

Initially the club occupied a boathouse situated in Bowness Bay, the original building having been demolished now forms the headquarters of the Lake District Boat Club.  The initial design of the burgee had a "W" on the blue, but this was later altered to the red rose of Lancashire that is still currently seen on all the club boats.  It was also decided that ladies be admitted to membership of the club and several joined in 1927.  They took part in racing and the winner of the first official race was in fact a woman.

Read more about the history of the Club in the History section of this site

Timeline of 100 years of racing

1930s

1938 at Wateredge

click on image to enlarge

In the 1930s a shotgun was used to start the racing, but this was sensibly replaced by a chronometer in 1939.  Boats were wooden craft inboard hydroplanes with the crew often sat right at the back of the boat and the engine amidships.

In those days the drivers would not get their hands dirty, relying on professional mechanics to maintain the boats.  They would literally arrive, cigars in mouth, remove their jackets and start racing.  
….no helmets or life jackets for them!

1938 at  Wateredge, Ambleside

Racing Today

The racing season begins in April and runs until September with eight race events taking place; four on Windermere and four at Carr Mill, St. Helens which is the base for LPRC.  The race course is in front of Broad Leys within the bay area South of Storrs Hall Hotel to Rawlinson’s Nab and is marked by orange buoys on race days.  Typically, there are up to seven races, each with a designated trophy. Most races are five laps which last approximately 5 minutes each and there is usually one ten lap race.

All races are handicapped according to the performance of the boat and the experience of the driver. Due to the handicap system all boats from the fastest to the slowest have an equal chance of winning. All types of boats can take part from recreational boats to full blown racing outfits, but all must be fitted according to Circuit Powerboat Association (CPA) guidelines.

Drivers observe the start clock and begin their laps at their allocated start time. It is then a race to the chequered flag to be the first over the finish line. Sometimes it is not the first across the line that wins a race though, because if you bust your handicap time then you drop back in the results order.

How to get involved

Powerboat racing in the UK is organised and regulated by the Circuit Powerboat Association (CPA) of which WMBRC is an affiliated club. WMBRC is one of several clubs in the UK where powerboat racing takes place.

Members who prefer not to race are welcome to join in with this sport through rescue and patrol as well as the all-important time keeping. So why not come down to the club on a race day and see what it’s all about. You’ll be made very welcome.

For more information please contact the chair of racing
via racing@wmbrc.co.uk
or come along to Broad Leys on a race day

For full details of national rules & licences please follow this link to the CPA website

CPA logo
LPRC logo

See these documents for details of WMBRC Racing Rules and a more detailed explanation of the WMBRC Handicapping System 

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