The International Offshore Team Association has announced that Egypt and Russia will stage rounds of the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship next year.

The International Offshore Team Association has announced that Egypt and Russia will stage rounds of the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship next year.

Alexandria, Egypt’s second largest city and main port together with the Black Sea resort of Sochi in Southern Russia have been confirmed as new venues on the 2006 Class 1 calendar.

“This is an important development for Class 1 powerboat racing which needs to expand into new markets to be able to grow as a sport,” said Saeed Hareb, UIM Class 1 Race Co-coordinator and Managing Director of the Dubai International Marine Club. “Here in Dubai we’re lucky to have enjoyed the consistent support of Emirates Airline and Dubai Duty Free over the years and we hope the organisers of the new events in Alexandria and Sochi get the same kind of backing”

Hareb was joined for the announcement by HE Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al Thani in his capacity as President of the International Offshore Team Association, the organisers and promoters of Class 1, UIM President Ralf Frohling, Alexander Udalov, Vice Mayor of Sochi and Tarek Ragheb the local promoter for Alexandria.

Also present to represent other proposed venues for 2006 were Antonio Monteleone, local promoter for Cannes, France, Per Michelson, representing Arendal in Norway and Peter Steinkogler, promoter for Slovenia.

The full Class 1 2006 calendar will be announced in due course. The news that Alexandria is to become the Middle East’s third Class 1 venue, and that Sochi will renew Russia’s links with the sport after an eight-year gap back to St Petersburg, is a positive sign that the Class 1 championship has a bright future.