Two Southampton powerboat racers have been flown to hospital after their boat flipped over during a race.

Driver Mike Lovell, from Southampton, and navigator Dan Whapples, from Warsash, were taking part in a national powerboat racing Championship in Weymouth Bay this afternoon.

The pair were seriously injured when they were thrown clear from their powerboat as it rolled over.

They were recovered from the water before being flown to Southampton General Hospital .

A spokesman for the Coastguard, which was called to the accident, said: “The casualties were recovered from the water and to enable a quick transfer to hospital, the most severely injured casualty was taken aboard the Weymouth RNLI lifeboat and winched by the Portland Coastguard Rescue Helicopter to fly onwards to Southampton General Hospital.

“The second casualty was transferred to Southampton General Hospital by the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Helimed 10.

“Wyke Regis Coastguard Rescue Team was on scene at Weymouth and Southampton Coastguard Rescue Team was called out to secure the helicopter landing site.”

The powerboat was competing in the area of Weymouth Town Beach and the harbour entrance when the incident happened.

A report has been made to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

Weymouth - the Olympic sailing venue - was hosting the first visit of the P1 SuperStock UK Championship to the Dorset coastal resort for the national powerboat series finale.

Organisers of the P1 SuperStock UK Championship cancelled the race.

Top names in watersports have been battling it out on the waves during the two-day event.

Four races have taken across the weekend in the high-speed sport.