Dubai's Victory Team in the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship. Image Credit: HADRIAN HERNANDEZ/Gulf News

Dubai: The UIM, the world governing body for watersports, has picked up Powerboat P1 Management Limited (P1) to hand over the international rights for Class 1 offshore powerboat racing.

The exclusive agreement between the UIM and P1 was signed for a period of 10 years with the new promoter and organiser getting a free hand to organise and promote F1 powerboat races across the globe through the UIM Class 1 World Championship.

Dr Raffaele Chiulli, UIM President, who was present at the signing of the agreement, is convinced that Class 1 powerboat racing will stand to realise its full potential as a top-class discipline in the watersports stable.

“We are extremely pleased to have found a strong promotion partner for the UIM Class 1 World Championship, who laid open the hidden potential of this supreme sffshore racing class last year in the United States,” Chiulli said.

“This is excellent news for the friends of spectacular offshore powerboat racing, and we look very much forward to taking the UIM Class 1 World Championship back where it belongs, to the pinnacle of offshore racing.”

P1 is the joint promoter of the APBA Offshore Championship, a multi-class race series that features Class 1 racing, the highest class of powerboat racing in the world which last year attracted teams from the United States, UAE and Australia.

The 2019 season witnessed Dubai-based former multiple world champions Victory Team run a successeeful second year in the highly competitive APBA Offshore Championship in the US.

P1 Chief Executive Azam Rangoonwala was delighted to take over the reins of this famous series that is considered the pinnacle of offshore racing.

“Our relationship with the UIM spans almost two decades and since our business was founded in 2002 we have staged more than 600 races in 18 countries across four continents. We now have the exciting opportunity to grow the Class 1 championship in the United States and at the same time develop plans to globalise the series over the coming years,” Rangoonawala said.

“We are currently working with key stakeholders for the return of a six-venue series starting in 2021 with a strong line-up of international teams and television coverage of the races along with livestreaming opportunities that will enhance the sport and visibility of teams on the international stage.”

Steve Curtis, one of the most successful offshore powerboat racers and the youngest-ever Class 1 champion in the early days of his 33-year career, was among the first to welcome the announcement.

“The UIM’s decision to appoint P1 as the new Class 1 promoter will come as very good news in the offshore racing world after the success of its operations in the APBA Championship last year. P1 will have our full co-operation and support in taking the UIM Class 1 World Championship back to the summit where it belongs,” Curtis said.

Curtis is no stranger to the Middle East region after having close links with the Qatar Team during the early part of the 21st century.

Class 1 racing is set to return in May 2021 with the first of six races being held at Cocoa Beach on Florida’s Atlantic Coast.