'Let's buy £20k powerboat to promote Hull'
HULL'S maritime spirit could be celebrated with a high-end racing powerboat.
City businesses are trying to raise £20,000 for a boat emblazoned with Hull logos.
It would take part in P1 Superstock, a racing series that sees drivers hit speeds of 70mph up and down the country's coastline.
The idea was discussed by businesses at a meeting last week and a funding campaign was launched on Friday.
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"We went to Twitter and came back with a lot of interest," said Esther Damary-Thompson, communications executive for organiser Hull Bondholders.
"Within the first ten minutes, we had raised £1,000.
"We are up to about £5,000 in pledges now."
She hopes the powerboat will be a floating advert for the city's success.
Powerstock's organisers hold a race starting in Hull every year and it already attracts hundreds of spectators.
"I think having a powerboat will be fantastic, in terms of economic impact," Ms Damary-Thompson said.
"It's bringing the Humber to life. There's a fantastic, fun buzz there.
"It also brings the business community together and it brings the region together."
The competition already features Beverley-born racer John Wilson.
"What I like about it is that it's a single-make sport," he said.
"We all race with the same equipment, so we've got a level playing field.
"Everybody's in the same boat – literally."
City businesses have just over a month to gather the funds they need.
"They need an answer from us in the middle of April and the boat would be ready for the first race of the season, which is in Hull," Ms Damary-Thompson said.
"The organisers could brand the boat and provide a driver but we've had a local company come forward and offer to brand it themselves.
"Companies are pledging £100 or £200 – now we're just looking for an accountancy firm to help with the funding."
Boats cost £80,000 to build but, because of an oversight, there is one without a driver.
"One of the boats that was built is not being used," Ms Damary-Thompson said.
"This would really put the region on the map and show what we can do.
"If we could get 100 people out on the Humber for our race weekend, it would be fantastic and it would really promote the region."
Follow @onehullofaboat on Twitter for updates.