The International Offshore Team Association (IOTA) has announced an agreement to bring the Superfund Class 1 World Powerboat Championship to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2004...

The International Offshore Team Association (IOTA) has announced an agreement with FAMA Holdings, a Saudi Arabian conglomerate led by IOTA Chairman, His Highness Prince Faisal Bin F.A.M.A. Al-Saud, to bring the Superfund Class 1 World Powerboat Championship to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2004.

The agreement was signed at a press conference held during the Scandinavian Grand Prix in Oslo. FAMA Holdings also signed an agreement with Nicolo San Germano, promoter of the Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship, to bring the Formula 1 racing to Saudi Arabia. These two agreements are part of a broader effort by His Highness Prince Faisal Bin F.A.M.A. Al-Saud to bring world class sporting events to Saudi Arabia.

“We have been looking at the possibilities of bringing powerboat racing to our country for the last year,” said His Highness. “It was an honour to visit Oslo, and a most amazing experience to watch the race. We have many venues that could be suitable for Class 1, including Jeddah and the Sunset Beach Resort, but we will decide after looking at our options more closely.”

Attending the signing in Oslo, IOTA President Edoardo Polli from Italy said, “It is important for the sport to expand by adding new venues while broadening its geographic boundaries. To be invited to race in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an honour for Class 1 and a fantastic opportunity for the sport. I speak not only for myself but for all the Class 1 racing teams when I say how extremely excited we are at the prospect.”

This will not be the only involvement for Saudi Arabia in powerboat racing, as Saudi Arabia’s Laith Pharaon is one of the most accomplished powerboat racers in the world, having won the Class 1 World Powerboat Championship in 1997. He now races in the F1 Powerboat World Championship with Team Green where he finished second in the 2002 Championship.

Information regarding the timing and the host venue for the first Class 1 Grand Prix to be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be announced in the coming months.