Back in June this year we saw, after a ten-year absence, the return of the world’s most beautiful, oldest, and longest powerboat race, the Raid Pavia-Venice.
Known as the ‘Dakar on water’, the event had always attracted a vast array of competing craft and this year’s was no exception. Despite the COVID 19 pandemic The Motorboat Associations of Pavia and Venice, who organise the race had attracted an impressive list of 85 entries for this single day event including UIM F1 and F2 circuit boats, Offshore Class 3, Endurance Group B, Endurance Jet Ski, historic racers, and pleasure boats. Due to the lack of rain in the area, the organisers were forced to start the event further downstream at San Nazzaro and it was Gianluca Carli, from Venice who won the race at an average speed of 164.11 km/h in a UIM F2 DAC hull formally raced by Hector Sanz Lopez.
Prior to the start it had been another Italian making the headlines and that was Guido Cappellini. Unfortunately the Marianese born ten times UIM Formula 1 World Champion and Manager of Team Abu Dhabi suffered a mechanical issue after completing the first part of the course, the 78 km run down the River Po from San Nazzaro to Boretto. On the positive side was his incredible average speed of 223 km/h that he had set over that short distance.
Back then an understandably disappointed Cappellini said ‘In my career I have learned that moments like this cannot deter you and must be the stimulus for future successes. Now I take this opportunity to announce that I will try again in the next edition of the Raid since it will be the 70th Anniversary a number which I have always liked. I hope the same also applies to the luck of the draw.’
True to his word as soon as the The Motorboat Associations of Pavia and Venice opened the entry for the 2022 edition Cappellini was one of the first to put his name down to contest this 413-kilometer marathon. The 2021 event could have been described as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for Team Abu Dhabi who had a similar outcome when they first entered another ‘marathon’ event, the Rouen 24 Hour and look what happened when they came back the following year.
Once again at Cappellini’s side will be his longtime friends, several of whom have followed him since the beginning of his career in motorsport, when Cappellini was racing karts. ‘Some of them were even with me in elementary school’ he said. ‘These are the people who have spent both good and tough times with me and have stuck by me and who have helped me to achieve the results I have obtain.’
As per tradition, his DAC hull will carry the number 74, the mythical number of the Abbate family received for sporting merits as a dedication in the memory of Guidino Abbate, the son of Bruno Abbate who died tragically in 1994 along with the inscription ‘We’ll be fast 4 Toto’ in memory of his friend Toto Caimi, who was killed in a water ski racing accident back in 1995.
For the 2022 race The Motorboat Associations of Pavia and Venice have decided to admit 130 competitors and within hours the registration was full. In addition to Italy, entries have been received from Austria, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, France, Great Britain, Malta, Holland, Dominican Republic, Spain, United States, Sweden, and Switzerland.