The weekend before last, a unique event took place in Brighton - not that many people were aware of it.

The P1 powerboat championships had a Grand Prix event on our seafront.

Not only was it a first for Brighton but also for England. During the preceding weeks up to the event, although there were some rumours of powerboat racing, nothing concrete emerged.

The internet merely stated the fact that a championship qualifier was to be held on Brighton seafront during the weekend of July 24-25.

The rest of the article recorded the results of previous legs held at Monaco and Rio de Janeiro.

In the company of such exotic places, you might think this was a real feather in Brighton's cap. After all, our affluence and reputation depends on attracting visitors.

Although in the run-up to the event the TV and radio carried news of the Farnborough Airshow, the cricket Test match and other events, there was no mention of the Powerboat GP.

On the Saturday morning, I was walking past Black Rock and noticed the powerboats circus setting up. I started chatting to several people working there.

I mentioned that there had been little publicity for the event and that their publicity machine had missed a golden opportunity to advertise the weekend and give Brighton a huge plug for staging major events.

One of the men fetched the organising manager. An American gentleman came out of one of the marquees and when I repeated my criticism of the lack of publicity, he told me it was because Brighton and Hove City Council had asked that all publicity was to be suppressed as it would attract too many people to the city.

Officials were still having nightmares over the Fatboy Slim concert of a couple of years ago and didn't want a repeat of the chaos.

If this is true, what an indictment of our council. Our city lives and dies on the visitors it can attract to spend money and use our many facilities.

If this is the prevailing attitude of the council and tourist office, then the tradespeople, shopkeepers and businessmen of Brighton and Hove deserve a good explanation of how the council views the future of this seaside resort. If the city can no longer cope with an influx of visitors, then it is in terminal decline.

The noise we can hear in the distance is the sound of Bournemouth, Blackpool and other resorts rubbing their hands at the prospect of attracting the visitors Brighton and Hove doesn't want.

-Michael Bowen, Brighton Marina