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2023 – A gamechanger for UIMF1h2o ?

Tony Blom-Pettersen on 21st February 2023

Ok, so 2023 has our attention.

Will it be a gamechanger for the UIMF1H2O? We think, and we hope so. Back in September it was posted on the UIMF1H2O website that the first round would be hosted in Indonesia which is great news.

What scared us initially though was the expectation of the local organiser, especially the Minister of SOE Erick Thohir, who explained that the F1H2O event was predicted to attract around 140 million impressions through digital media (including social media and broadcasting).


The gamechanger.. 


Unfortunately we are sure about one thing, those numbers will not come from the social media profiles of the drivers. We have looked into the statistics (will post all numbers) and the entire UIMF1H2O drivers have a total of 143.148 followers on Facebook.


Rookie, Ben Jelf and Jelf Racing own 35K of those followers. In second place is Bartek Marzelek with 27.K and he is followed by Sami Selio with 19K followers. So the top three drivers on social media have more than fifty per cent of the followers.

The official UIMF1H2O Facebook site have is quoted as having 181K followers – but just how many of them are ‘active’ followers. owner Frode Sundsdal still believes that 2023 can be a gamechanger for powerboat racing, and especially UIMF1H2O.

Frode Sundsdal said this morning : 


I am very excited, especially since H2O Racing, the UIMF1H2O promoter announced a partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) to broadcast live action and highlights of the 2023 UIM F1H2O World Championship across Europe and Asia through television coverage on Eurosport and streaming on discovery+* and the Eurosport App. I am keen to see if the teams, drivers, and the series is ready for this level of  exposure.

So, how important is this partnership ? 


I would say, it’s the best news for powerboating in this millennium. If we now could see some improved race formats, and some behind the scenes drama then I am sure it would capture viewers’ attention. Look what happen to F1 Motor Racing when they got onto Netflix with the Drive To Survive series. I spoke to a colleague of mine the other day, and when he went to a team launch at Silverstone he got into a conversation about F1 DRS (DRS is short for Drag Reduction System). Not really a surprise in that environment but the discussion he had was with a teenage girl at a racetrack who knew the topic inside out. Would that have happened before the dawn of social media, I doubt it.

Continuing on the subject Sundsdal said.


We need to build on driver profiles. I would love to see video clips with Shaun Torrente and Sami Selio in each other’s face, screaming and showing emotions – and I´m sure that if the drivers, teams, and the officials could understand the fact that they are in ‘showbiz’ they would be able to make more out of it and perhaps each of them could finally start making a living out of it.

Who is more fully ‘on it’ when it comes to celebrating a race win than Jonas Andersson. That’s right. But outside of the powerboat racing circle no one knows, but if they did, then people would love him, and follow him.

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