F1H2O and 2011 is set to be a groundbreaking year for powerboat promoter Nicolò di San Germano in collaboration with the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM).
by Philippe Stiernon
San Germano, who has been the officially-sanctioned promoter of the UIM F1H2O World Powerboat Championship since 1993, recently acquired the exclusive worldwide commercial and television rights from the UIM, powerboat racing's World Governing Body, for the Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, the F1 Nations Cup and, the Aquabike World Championship.
Working closely with the UIM, H2O Racing will organise and promote 16 Grands Prix across World powerboat racing's flagship series, F1H2O and Class 1, seven events in the spectacular multi-event Aquabike and Rally Jet World Championship and five events in the inaugural inshore circuit racing championship, F1 Nations Cup. San Germano revealed in Monaco where the International Federation, the UIM, has its Headquarters, his ambitious plans for a spectacular season of World Championship events in powerboat and aquabike racing, announcing that H2O Racing will organise 28 major international events in 13 countries across three continents in the next ten months.
To maximise and leverage television exposure across all four brands, H2O Racing has appointed IMG Media to exclusively represent all its audio-visual rights exploitation and manage distribution of all live and post-produced programming and international news distribution. Speaking at today's press conference in Monaco attended by UIM President Dr. Raffaele Chiulli and World Champions, from Finland, F1H2O's Sami Selio (Mad Croc Team) and from France, Aquabike's 10-times World Champion, Cyrille Lemoine (Team Lemoine Racing), San Germano announced the season's calendars and outlined his rationale for combining all four properties under a single marketing and management operation umbrella.
'It is a logical step forward to consolidate our years of experience and our resources to operate under one platform,' he said. 'I see it as a win-win situation for everyone involved. From a marketing perspective, it gives us greater leverage. We can offer to potential venue organisers and commercial partners a diverse range of sports and entertainment packages with added commercial value, offering greater global visibility through a very broad geographic reach in terms of media exposure.
'A new revolutionary Nations Cup Series is added to our calendar starting mid 2011. The new series will represent not just driver ability but will build national pride, with two drivers per team representing their country and scoring points for their national team, resulting with the presentation of an international trophy at the end of the season to the winning national team. Ten nations are expected to be represented with a total of 20 boats on hand each race weekend.'
He added, 'Last year, the F1H2O series was accepted into the International Olympic Committee (IOC) family, thanks to the UIM and its President, Dr. Raffaele Chiulli. With the UIM we are also working closely with the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), focusing on using cleaner materials, including the race fuel that the series use at each Grand Prix. This subject is dear to all organisers’ hearts who are leaders in the new philosophy of being cleaner and greener and helping the environment and I am very proud of their work.' Over the course of the year, the four World Championship series organised under the H2O racing umbrella will attract teams and competitors from over 30 countries.
The first two events of what promises to be an enthralling season's racing take place in Qatar in March. Seventeen boats will line up on Doha Bay in the Qatari capital for the first of ten rounds in the F1H20 World Powerboat Championship, taking place 4-5 March, followed a week later, 11-22 March, by the opening round of six in the Aquabike World Championship, which is attracting over 70 riders.
Class 1's season, with twelve races at six Grands Prix, starts in the United Arab Emirates, where 11 boats will line up for their opener in Dubai, 14-16 April, with the unique 'Karujet' Rally Jet World Championship taking place at the same time on the other side of the world in Guadeloupe. www.f1h2o.com
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8:31 PM Sat 26 Feb 2011 GMT
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