The British leg of the flagship series of single-seater inshore circuit Formula 1 powerboat racing – the UIM F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of London – was today launched in the heart of London.
The spectacular, high-octane event will be held at East London’s historic Royal Victoria Dock for the first time since 1985 on 15-17 June 2018. The UIM F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of London will offer spectators a breathtakingly up-close and personal opportunity to watch the lightweight, tunnel-hull catamaran powerboats battling each other into turns at over 90mph and hitting speeds of up to 140mph on the straights.
A photo call and press conference were held for the world’s media in the shadow of London’s iconic Tower Bridge. Those involved. included: Marit Stromoy (NOR), the Emirates Racing Team driver and the first woman to ever win a Formula 1 powerboat Grand Prix; Philippe Chiappe (FRA), CTIC F1 Powerboat China Team driver and three-time world champion; Mr. Li Haojie, UIM F1 Committee member and Chairman of Tian Rong Sports, the local promoter of the Grand Prix of London in association with H2O Racing; Jules Chappell OBE, Managing Director, Business at London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s official agency promoting London internationally as a leading world city in which to invest, work, study and visit; Nicolo di San Germano, President of H2O Racing, the promoter of the UIM F1H2O World Championship; and Joanna Jones, Commercial Director of London Tech Week, Europe’s largest festival of technology and innovation.
Mr. Li Haojie, Chairman of Tian Rong Sports, commented: “As a Chinese company, we are honoured and delighted to stage the UIM F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of London for the first time. We believe that this event, which echoes China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, will constitute a highly positive effect on London’s international status, as well as East London’s development.”
Nicolo di San Germano, commented: “The UK has a longstanding association and love affair with powerboat racing, so for us it was a natural decision to add London to the exclusive UIM F1H2O World Championship calendar. London’s track record of not only hosting internationally renowned sporting events, but also its unrivalled success creating legacies for these sports was a major attraction. We believe the UIM F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of London will help to further expand the World Championship’s global fan base, and we’re excited to give London’s spectators a unique and thrilling experience.”
Laura Citron, CEO at London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency for the city, said: “From the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the IAAF Summer of World Athletics in 2017, London has proved it excels at hosting great sporting events, and really can put on a show. It is fantastic to welcome UIM Formula 1 World Championship powerboat racing back after 33 years, and we look forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world for what will no doubt be a thrilling event.”
The UIM F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of London will be staged at Royal Victoria Dock from Friday 15 until Sunday 17 June 2018. On Friday the F1H2O powerboats will have a free practice session. On Saturday qualifying will see the 10 F1H2O teams battling the clock and vying for pole position. While on Sunday afternoon racing will get underway following an hour’s free practice session and a parade lap.
As well as watching 10 teams battle for the F1H2O Grand Prix of London title; spectators will also be treated to nine teams competing in the Formula 4-S class, in which the sport’s up-and-coming drivers learn to hone their skills. While Formula 4-S powerboats have less powerful engines (60bhp) than those in F1H2O, they still manage to reach speeds of over 70mph. There will also be demonstrations over the course of the weekend from historical powerboats; jet skis; a 14-metre, five-tonne, V12 Class 1 offshore powerboat, which will hit a straight-line speed of up to 100mph; and junior, entry-level powerboats piloted by the next generation of British talent.
General tickets and VIP tickets (which include a range of hospitality packages) are available for the UIM F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of London. For further information, general enquiries about the UIM F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of London, and details of how your business can be part of the UIM F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of London please visit www.f1h2o.co.uk. Alternatively, you can contact Mark Thomas atF1H2OLondonService@hotmail.com.
The UIM F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of London will be part of the headline event programme at this year’s London Tech Week, Europe’s largest festival of technology and innovation, with a range of events held across the city from 11-17 June 2018.
Image Credit: Getty Images/Chris Lee
Caption: From left to right: Philippe Chiappe, Marit Stromoy, Mr Li Haojie