A POWERBOAT champion will be on hand to open a Southampton group’s new facility.

The Southampton Sea Cadets will officially open their new pontoons on the River Itchen on Saturday.

They will be joined by British powerboat champion Shelley Jory Leigh and city mayor Ivan White at the launch event at the unit’s head-quarters in Vespasian Road at 11am.

Lieutenant Mark Lampert, the unit’s commanding officer, said: “The pontoons will make a real difference to the cadets’ activities.

“Instead of lugging all their gear along to a local boatyard every time they want to use the boats, they will be able to get straight on to the water.

“It will make a huge difference to the amount of time they can spend afloat.”