The current situation in the top classes of circuit powerboating especially F1H2O / UIM F2 is a major concern and we think that it’s time to change the approach to hosting races.
PowerboatracingWorld.com was recently taken over by our Norwegian company, Boatshow AS. This promotional company has produced events including the Tønsberg Boatrace and up until the pandemic it had hosted a round of the UIM F2 World championship five years in succession.
“We were awarded with Best Motorsport Race of the year a few times in Norway, and we managed to build a very good event, but in the end, we said, enough is enough. The cost and ROI were not in balance. The championship did not return our investment and provided very little in return. We want to develop the format.”
“Afterall we have invested 1.2 million Euro in the class and championship since we started, but it has not developed to be a profitable, sustainable model. We are not just talking about money here, because the media coverage, and exposure has also dropped. We will continue with powerboating, and especially we love F2, but in a different format.”
Why does every organiser think they have to host a World Championship event?
“In my opinion very few organisers that I have seen have standards high enough to justify it.
In my opinion the UIM should set a vision and standard that will increase the competition and value.
Now I feel that anyone that delivers the ‘minimum’ conditions will be considered an organiser. That can’t be right.”
The minimum standards should be a well-organised experienced club, a paddock which can accommodate all the teams, convenient hotels and accommodation, restaurants, and an infrastructure that works. If we get down to basics then you need a minimum standard on the pontoons. For example, in Tønsberg we have over 350 meters of jetty. You don’t need that everywhere, but if you want an event that runs on time then you must have enough cranes and jetties to launch the boats in and out of the water.
There should also be a ‘Live-stream’ run at every event at the World and European Championship level like Lithuania organizer, Riabko does.
The event most be run on time, ‘Force Majeure’ may occur, but in powerboating we see far too many organisers running behind their own schedule with little excuse.
Why don’t organisers apply for an International Ordinary event status?
A good example is the F2 event in Liege, Belgium. It was supposed to be the opening round of the UIM F2 World championship. It would have been so much smarter to say to them; We are happy to consider your powerboat event, but before you host a round of the UIM F2 World Championship first you must run a successful International Ordinary event. It cost less and the organising club would get an event without the high level of pressure that World Championship round often brings.
“I have first-hand experience of this route can only encourage local organisers and individuals that would like to host events to consider this option first. The experience we gained in Tønsberg by going this route meant we felt totally confident to pursue our plan to host a round of the UIM F2 World Championship the following year.”
Let’s see what the 2022 season will bring, but we should all be working hard to get circuit racing events back on the calendar especially ‘classic venues’ with plenty of experience like Idroscalo, Milan or Berlin, Germany.
We can only hope!