Lake Macquarie will be transformed into a hive of adrenalin and action on the weekend of October 19 and 20 when it hosts round three of the 2019 Offshore Superboat Championships.
Part of a four-round national competition, the event - the pinnacle of powerboat racing - will attract 10 high-powered machines and teams of drivers and throttlemen who will race for line honours through Australia's largest coastal saltwater lagoon.
Sydney-based Conn Saloumidis, owner of team SUV Simrad and president of the Offshore Superboat Club, said the event promised to deliver a weekend of action, adrenalin and excitement. Conn was among the group of industry stakeholders who brought the event to Lake Macquarie four years ago, buoyed by the ideal conditions on the lake - billed as the perfect arena - for both teams and spectators.
"The conditions at Lake Macquarie are absolutely fantastic," Conn said.
"The crowd gets behind the event so well, it's awesome. "It's such a pleasure to come and race at Lake Macquarie. "We usually get about 20,000 people around the lake. It offers some fantastic vantage points."
The event is based at Marmong Point Marina. Teams and support crews will begin arriving Friday afternoon. On Saturday, the boats will be craned into the water from 11am ready for the race start of 1pm.
Boats will compete in two categories - Supercat Extreme, boats that measure up to 12 metres with two 750 horsepower V8 engines, and Supercat Outboard, boats that measure up to 10 metres and run two 300 HP outboard engines.
Once racing winds down Saturday, the action will continue on land with a night of entertainment, food and fun at the Marmong Point Marina.
The high-powered machines will hit a top speeds of up to 160km/hr promising fantastic spectator action.
The boats return to the water on Sunday for two races, at 11am and 1pm. This year, teams from the Gold Coast, Victoria and Sydney are competing.
Conn said sport attracted the genuine "aficionados of enjoyment".
"For drivers, it's the thrill of racing," Conn said. "As there is no prize money, its racing for the joy of racing. "It requires a combination of the boat, driver's skill and a lot of luck too. There is a saying in our sport that to come first you have to finish first.
"That is usually the hardest part in our sport. We are complex machines and things break down."
Round four will take place at Hervey Bay, with very little separating teams on the competition ladder.
Conn said the weekend provided a unique opportunity to showcase not only the sport of offshore superboat racing, but also the Lake Macquarie area which benefited from an influx of visitors.
"It gets people out onto the lake," he said. "The weekend attracts people from out of town so it means a lot of heads on beds for Lake Macquarie."