Regular Formula I venue adds offshore to its calendar

The Class 1 World Powerboat Championship has added a second new venue for 2009, announcing that the United Arab Emirates Capital, Abu Dhabi, will host its first Class 1 Grand Prix in November.

IOTA (International Offshore Team Association) confirmed that Abu Dhabi will host the penultimate round of the 2009 Class 1 World Powerboat Championship on November 19-21 after reaching an agreement with the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC).

Saeed Hareb, president of the World Professional Powerboating Association (WPPA) was instrumental in laying the foundations for this agreement, brokered by His Royal Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, chairman of the board of directors of the ADIMSC, on June 27 at a meeting with His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani, president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and president of IOTA – the organiser of the UIM WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championship.

The agreement, which sees the country’s Capital and largest of the seven Emirates joining its Middle East neighbours, Dubai and Doha, Qatar on the Class 1 calendar, was finalised between the assistant general manager of the ADIMSC, Salem Rashed Al Romaithi, IOTA general secretary, Marco Sala, IOTA operations director, Pasquale Sesana, WPPA general secretary, Sid Bensalah and WPPA race director, Rory Power.

“IOTA’s board of directors have welcomed with special interest the entry into our sport of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, whose long-standing experience in the organisation of high-level powerboat races will enable the Club to bring to bear its particular expertise in realising what is sure to be a very successful Class 1 Grand Prix,” said IOTA General Secretary, Marco Sala.

During the technical meeting, the first logistical details were agreed upon, such as the use of the area at sea between the Corniche and Lulu Island for the race course and the use of the area on land which will be made available by the ADIMSC.