Thundercat, the world’s craziest inflatable boat rides


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Thundercat in action

There is not (yet) a ranking of the world’s craziest boat races, but if there were, the sport would definitely be in it. We are talking about Thundercat Racing, a sport in which cata-boats, pass us the neologism, 3.8 to 4.1 meters long and 1.7 m wide, powered by two-stroke 50-horsepower outboard engines, usually Yamaha or Tohatsu, compete in extreme courses through rivers, seas, lakes and waves: in short, as long as it’s water and they go. If you are looking for adrenaline with your best friend, well, give it a thought.

The world’s craziest boat rides

But what happens in a “Thundercat Racing” race? First, there are two people on board, pilot and co-pilot. The former is tasked with driving the boat, giving direction and “chugging” with the outboard. To his colleague at the bow that of keeping the boat buoyant, helping it up the waves and landing in the most painless world possible-essentially using his body weight to keep the boat stable and thus as fast as possible.

There are three different types of internationally recognized Thundercat Racing and one type that is exclusively New Zealand.

  • Surf-Cross: on short course (200m x 300m) with boats jumping on waves up to 4 meters. This specialty is the most spectacular to watch.
  • Circuit: this specialty is also popular with the public because the boats go very fast on the razor’s edge between top speed and the risk of capsizing on a wave or from a gust of wind.
  • Enduro: not just short circuits. Here we pull “for the long haul,” at full speed for a hundred kilometers in the open sea or on a river. Spoiler: there are virtually no atmospheric limits.
  • Surf Haul: unique to New Zealand, this is an Enduro-style event in which the entire race is run parallel to surf beaches, adding a highly technical element to the already physically and mentally challenging aspects of Enduro racing.

How to become a Thundercat racer?

Thundercat races exist in 18 countries and have admirers all over the world. It is easier than you might imagine because you do not need space suits, spaceship seats or other special equipment. All that is needed is the equipment, a life jacket and a regulation helmet. Then you are ready and can show up at an event. To put it bluntly, with 6,000 euros you can already recover some good material to start competing. Want more information? Here is the official website!

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