A storm's brewing

THE Australian public will get its first taste of Wide Bay Australia's Bundy Thunder when a record number of boats take to the water next month.

A sponsor from Emerald has commissioned a production company from Sydney to film the event for Pay-TV giant Fox Sports, event co-ordinator Sue Ellen Pitt said yesterday.

Power Productions will film Sandy Hook over the two days and produce a one-hour highlights show that will air three times on Fox Sports.

The further boost to the event's stature comes after success in this year's RACQ's 150 Must Do's in Queensland competition where Bundy Thunder finished sixth.

That led to unprecedented coverage through the competition's major sponsors Channel 7, Queensland Tourism and RACQ.

“The publicity we got through that helped raise our profile across Australia,” Pitt said.

Pitt said the event also relied on a strong word-of-mouth following after 10 years.

“It doesn't have the same mainstream status of the V8 Supercars but people come and they enjoy the event and they tell their friends about it,” she said.

Last year, with a field of 72 boats, the event raised more than $30,000 for Rotary Club of Bundaberg West which owns the event.

It also helped to raise more than $60,000 for Leukaemia Foundation activities in Wide Bay, through the Miss Wide Bay Australia Bundy Thunder Ambassador Quest.

Rotary club president Derek McGrath said success of the event had surpassed even the most ambitious expectations.

“It is the biggest (powerboat) racing event in Australia,” McGrath said. “Racers from all around Australia want to come and race at Sandy Hook.”

The field of 84 is the largest since Bundy Thunder started in 2000. Pitt said that field included some of Australia's best racers.

Thunderstruck •Saturday: Pre-Race Ball from 6pm-2am at Bundaberg Civic Centre •Nov 6: See all the boats at Brothers Sports Club •Nov 7: The racing begins at Sandy Hook followed by a visitors' function. •Nov 8: Racing ends and trophies and prizemoney are awarded at Sugarland Tavern

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