The three-time world champion from Cardiganshire was about to retired when he was offered a chance to team-up with French champion Phillippe Dessertenne

The new millennium will see a total of 13 races taking place in Portugal, Belgium, Hungary, Russia, Latvia, France, Italy (two rounds), Poland, Turkey, Bulgaria, Austria, UAE and Brazil. These include new venues in Belgium, Bulgaria, Poland, Latvia, and Brazil. Eleven teams representing15 countries are already committed to take part including Welshman Jonathan Jones. The three-time world champion from Cardiganshire was about to retired when he was offered a chance to team-up with French champion Phillippe Dessertenne in one of the new three-litre OMC powered outfits.

For the first time in the history of the Championship, every race will have two hours of live satellite coverage. An agreement in this regard has already been signed with E.B.U. (European Broadcasting Union). Also for the first time, every venue will make use of the high tech Virtual Advertising on behalf of the participating sponsors and advertisers. Another first this year is the entry of multi-brand engines. Three engine manufacturers, Mercury, Johnson and Evinrude are participating with engines racing in size from two to 3.1 litre. The difference in the engines will be compensated by the varying the weights hulls. While all these power units are all from the West, the Japanese are no doubt waiting their time to present an engine able to compete against these leading brands.

Boats lining up for the series will include craft from Dac (Italy), Seebold (USA), Burgess (UK), and Velden (Netherlands). The Headquarters of the UIM F1 World Championship has also moved from Italy to the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club in the United Arab Emirates with F1 Promoter, Nicole di San Germano, now being based in this city. The marketing of F1 has been entrusted to Independent Sports Marketing, Abu Dhabi, a new agency solely devoted to the promotion and marketing of the Formula I powerboat racing. Overall promoter, Mr. San Germano, has estimated this year’s budget for the 24 participating boats as being around $24 million – a million per boat, plus a further $26 million from 13 venues amounting to some $50 million for the entire Championship.

2000 Formula I Calendar

April 30 Portimao (Portugal)
May 14 Antwerp (Belgium)
May 21 Dunaujvaros (Hungary)
June 11 Riga (Latvia)
June 25 Chalon (France)
July 2 Cagliari (Italy)
July 23 Poznan (Poland)
August 6 Plovdiv (Bulgaria)
August 13 Istanbul (Turkey)
September 3 Como (Italy)
September 10 Vienna (Austria)
October 15 Venue TBC (Brazil)
November 24 Abu Dhabi (UAE)