Nicolò di San Germano is optimistic that the new structures that have been put in place to steer the future direction of the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship will revitalise the sport.
Dubai 2010 - UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship
As head of Class 1 Promotion and the Championship’s newly appointed promoter San Germano believes that strength in numbers, clear communication and implementation of clear and fair rules must form the foundations to take the sport forward. 'We will reinforce the number of teams because strength in numbers in terms of participants is important. Our target is to have a minimum of ten boats and this part I think we have already overcome because we have interest from over ten boats for the beginning of the season.
'To run an international series like Class 1 you need to have clear and fair rules. To introduce and impose them is the responsibility of the sports international federation, the UIM [the World Governing body]. Of course it is in our mutual interests to have in place clear rules and fair referees and we will support the Federation fully.
'First of all the rules have to be clear and they [UIM] have done this and now through strong independent referees they must be applied. It is not our job to create the rules and it is not our job to referee. Class 1 Promotion is in the process of finalising a long term agreement with the UIM to be the exclusive worldwide television and commercial rights holders of the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship. We are simply responsible for the marketing and commercial elements of the sport. But it is one of our roles to support where necessary the UIM and make things happen to avoid too much discussion about the rules.
'Of course it is very important to have the input from the teams but for that we need one voice and not many people speaking. It will be the team representative who will give the input and as the rules can also have very important financial implications, the UIM must listen to the input of the teams. 'As far as safety issues are concerned or rules that concern safety, it is also important to listen to the drivers’ representative. So I will push to have a situation where decisions are made by the UIM listening to input from the team representative.
'It is also important that rules that are decided at the beginning of the season must stay throughout unless there is a unanimous call for immediate change, otherwise they [rules] can be modified at the end of the racing season.
'OPC [Offshore Professional Committee] is currently the committee dealing with offshore rules and I think they have done a great job during the last month to guarantee fair competition and to reduce the costs to the teams.'
'I respect the freedom of association of everybody so for me everybody can become partnered to whatever association they want to, but my contract is with the UIM on one side and I will sign single contracts with individual teams on the other side.
'I do not need a union representing teams and there is a very simple reason for it. I think that each team has specific needs, requirements and have different structures from each other. We are here to help them individually. I respect fully all participants. I think they need to be treated all the same when it comes to racing in fairness and in respect of rules, but when it comes to commercial arrangements we are here to listen to everybody and hopefully satisfy everybody.
'If there is a new association, and I understand there is a group of teams who intend to create COTA, I will not deal with COTA as an association but I will deal with the individual teams of COTA as I will deal with teams who are not a member of COTA.'
For San Germano the move into Class 1 was a logical step and one where he will be looking to draw on and exercise his vast experience as a successful water sports promoter of 17-years to reinvigorate the sports appeal. 'In powerboat circles worldwide Class 1 represents glamour and was the first class to have a series promoter, Mr Mauro Ravenna. The fact that we are involved in other marine sports, F1H2o, now the new Nations Cup and since this year Aquabike, it was a logical step to join Class 1 to our effort. It gives us the opportunity to be able to offer national authorities and organisers of water festivals around the world a greater diversity of products with greater commercial opportunities.
'But of course glamour with six boats was not enough so our goal is to have enough actors on the water. The teams are like actors in show business. You need to have a good play. The venues are our stage and we are the impresario that takes the play around the world.
'We have the traditional venues where of course the show is nice but we must look to start bringing a better show year-after-year. You cannot always bring the same play. That is something I have learned in F1. You have to improve and bring something new every time. It can be technical, it can be logistics or it can be format. But you have to bring something fresh. We do it in our other formulas and we are going to do it in Class 1 as well.'
Class 1 Promotion will hold a press conference in Monaco at the Hotel de Paris, Salon Bosio Beaumarchais, on Saturday, 26 February at 17.00 hours to announce the 2011 calendar.
UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship website