Sharjah World Championship Week begins as high-octane action kicks off on the waters of the emirate
Powerboat athletes go full-throttle in fierce competition to secure
the F1H20 World Championship title
Sharjah, December 13, 2022
Under the patronage of Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council, the Sharjah World Championship Week began which includes the final leg of the 21st UIM F1H2O World Championship. The powerboat Grand Prix of Sharjah is being held on Khalid lake with the participation of top 16 international racers.
The opening address for this year’s week of high-octane adrenaline was made during a press conference organised by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) at Khalid Lagoon in the presence of Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCDTA; Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Vice Chairman of the Sharjah International Marine Sports Club (SIMSC); Nicolo Di San Germano, International Promoter of Formula 1 Powerboat Racing, in addition to racers and an exuberant crowd.
The Sharjah World Championship Week will host the final leg of the UIM F1H20 World Championship. The 16 international racers in the championship will compete along a 2057m circuit for the coveted Road to Sharjah Grand Prix of Sharjah title and the Road to Sharjah Grand Prix of the Middle East title on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, wrapping up the championship’s world tour for 2022.
Although teams represent certain cities they are allowed to enrol drivers from anywhere in the world and two teams will be representing the UAE in the Grand Prix this year. The Sharjah team with Finnish driver Sami Selio will be sporting speedboat 11, and Ferdinand Zandbergen from the Netherlands will be sporting speedboat 12. The Abu Dhabi team includes American Shaun Torrente driving speedboat 6 and the sole Emirati, Thani Al Qemzi taking the helm on speedboat 5.
During his keynote speech, Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCDTA, stressed that hosting the final event in the Formula 1 World Powerboat Championship season in the emirate of Sharjah expresses the vision and directives of Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to bolster the emirate’s status as a city for global tourism, and a prime destination for water sports enthusiasts. He noted that the authority puts the safety of the competitors as a top priority in the championship and expects it to be a smooth and exciting race.
Al Midfa commented, saying: “Sharjah has always achieved great success in the sports tourism sector as part of its continuous mission to diversify the emirate’s development portfolio. Through investing in our attractive and expansive marine environment we are able to host world championships, including this premier speedboat race.” He pointed out that water sports are part of the country’s history and heritage, from the culture of traditional boats to the emirate achieving top spots in international competitions.
The Chairman thanked their partners in the 21st edition of the event and the collaboration between Sharjah’s Environment and Protected Areas Authority, UIM F1H2O World Championship, Al Bataeh Municipality and the Sharjah Police. This leg of the world championship supports environmental issues through an afforestation initiative in the Al Muntather area. This is in solidarity with the global reforestation program by the UIM F1H2O World Championship.
Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Vice Chairman of the SIMSC, said: “Our strategic partnership with SCDTA during the Sharjah World Championships Week, which includes the final round of the 21st edition of the F1H2O World Championship 2022, the Grand Prix of Sharjah, translates the vision of Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and the patronage and support of Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council, of hosting and organising international competitions to bolster the emirate’s status as a water sports destination on a local, regional and international level.”
Nicolo Di San Germano, International Promoter of Formula 1 Powerboat Racing, said: “We are excited about this important point in the history of the world powerboat racing championship this year, which comes after a break of two years. We are excited that the world is on its way to recovery and we are once again able to bring the championship back to Sharjah because we are certain that there will be a great deal of growth and development in the championship. We are always working to organise this championship in cooperation with our partners in the best way possible.”
The promoter pointed out that the International Federation is pleased to be here in Sharjah and the event would continue to grow over the next few years due to the great success it has had over the past twenty one years.
Abu Dhabi team has his sight on the championship title
The Abu Dhabi team is aiming to win the two final races of the championship, Sharjah Grand Prix of Sharjah and the Road to Sharjah Grand Prix of the Middle East, to snatch the World Championship title in 2022 with their talented team of riders comprised of Shaun Torrente (Abu Dhabi boat 6) and Thani Al Qemzi (Abu Dhabi boat 5).
The ambition of claiming the title by the Abu Dhabi team will be fiercely challenged by the current world champion Jonas Andersson (Boat 1) who races for the Swedish team, who is in the 3rd place this season with a 9-point difference in the table behind Al Qemzi and 18 points behind Torrente, who is topping the charts, especially since each winner in the two Sharjah races will receive 20 points.
The World Powerboat Championship points table prior to the Sharjah rounds:
|2||Thani Al Qemzi||5||55|
The winner of the race will receive 20 points, the second place receives 15, and 12 points will go to the third-place winner.
|10 and below||0 Points|