Andhra Pradesh

Excitement levels high as countdown begins for F1H2O Grand Prix

The powerboats that have arrived for the Grand Prix.

The powerboats that have arrived for the Grand Prix.

The F1H2O power boat race buzz is growing louder 48 hours ahead of the world championship set to make a splash in River Krishna in Amaravati here.

Nine teams comprising 19 Formula 1 drivers and nine Formula 4 drivers from 12 countries have arrived besides 21 large containers carrying 10 Formula 1 boats and 10 Formula 4 boats, from the Krishnapatnam port. These boats have been imported from China.

The sight of the team of adrenaline junkies (Boat drivers and other crew members) moving around the Punnami ghat on the banks of the river and the diminutive high-speed catamarans that will fly across water to enter hairpin turns at a lightning speed, is raising the excitement levels.

The Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), organiser of the F1H2O, a multiple Grand Prix series of eight events taking place in Europe and Asia this year, has included Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, in this year’s racing series. The Grand Prix is the world’s foremost international series of single-seater inshore circuit powerboat racing.

The race being the first international water sport being hosted by Andhra Pradesh, a great deal of significance is associated with it. The adrenaline-pumping battle will feature teams from Amaravati (India), along with seven major cities from Portugal, the U.K., France, Italy, China and the UAE.

“The global sporting event is making a comeback to India after a gap of 14 years. The last Indian edition was held in Mumbai in 2004. We want to make the best of this opportunity to put Amaravati on the global map of water sports,” says Mukesh Kumar Meena, Secretary, Department of Tourism and Culture.

Officials of the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority (APTA), which is playing key role along with India Xtreme Adventure Activities, a local firm, has cleared the race site. The ground has been levelled and asphalted for creation of the paddock area for the racing teams to hold their discussions. “It’s about time such sporting events came to countries like India, as there is adequate infrastructure here for people to engage in all kinds of extreme adventure,” says Marco Pietrini, Director, Logistics, F1H2O World Championship.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will flag off the event on Friday (November 16) afternoon, leaving the space open for the racers to practice their manoeuvres.

Jonas Andersson and Erik Edin, drivers from Sweden, will represent Team Amaravati. “I can sense the high expectations of people from my team and I can’t wait to take the waves in my stride,” says Mr. Jonas.

The Tourism wing is setting up viewing galleries near the Punnami Ghat and the Prakasam Barrage will be closed during the three-day event, turning it into a makeshift viewpoint. Amaravati is hosting the fifth edition of the F1H2O championship that began in Portugal on May 18 and will end in Sharjah on December 15. “The race will be held in a circuit stretch of 2.7 km and arrangements have been made to allow the racers to practice in the river on the first day,” said Himanshu Shukla, CEO, APTA.


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Printable version | Jul 6, 2022 10:01:45 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/excitement-levels-high-as-countdown-begins-for-for-f1h2o-grand-prix/article25488393.ece