A powerboat event in West Bay was a success, organisers say.

The Offshore Circuit Racing Drivers Association (OCRDA) Powerboat Race took place last weekend.

In the lead up to the event, some residents expressed concerns the event was being held during the coronavirus pandemic with fears of crowds of people being attracted.

But Dorset’s multi-agency Safety Advisory Group (SAG), which reviews organised events in Dorset, requested that the event not be advertised in order to avoid crowds of spectators.

OCRDA worked closely with Dorset Council, the SAG and harbour authorities and strict restrictions were in place in regards to the organisation of the event.

Steve Oaten, vice-chairman of OCRDA and race manager of the weekend’s event, said: “The event went very well all things considered. I think in general people were excited to see something going on.

“During the race we had up to four Covid marshals at a time to make sure people were (practising) social distancing. Most people watching were keeping the correct distance and those who we did have to talk to were fully co-operative.”

There were also signs posted along the promenade and around the area, reminding people to follow social distancing procedures.

Mr Oaten added: “We had to completely change the way we went about communicating with competitors and officials. The vast amount of pre-event work was done via email, only meeting face-to-face when absolutely necessary, in groups of no larger than six and all wearing masks.

“I probably spent more time on pre-event organisation for this race than I usually do in a whole season, that shows the amount of effort that went into making the event as safe as possible.

“Spectators and competitors all did their best to comply with measures. At the end of the weekend I was really pleased with how the event had gone.”

Rough conditions on the Saturday resulted in a lot of problems for the racers – of the 17 boats which were participating, only eight finished. Thankfully, conditions were better on the Sunday and 14 of the 16 boats were able to finish.

There were concerns prior to the event that the event would lead to crowds, increasing the risk of the spread of coronavirus.

Prior to the event a spokesman for the SAG said, prior to the event: "The organisers submitted an event plan and risk assessments that were reviewed by the multi-agency Safety Advisory Group (SAG). The SAG concluded that, provided the measures set out within those documents are implemented, the event will meet the requirements of all current regulations and guidance."

The weekend’s action was streamed live on Facebook in an effort to keep fans of the sport from travelling to West Bay to spectate.