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Soon, powerboats to pierce into the waves off Marine Drive

Bindu D Menon Mumbai | Updated on January 13, 2018 Published on February 19, 2017

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Procam, P1 Global to conduct Indian grand prix of the sea next month

After Formula One car racing, India is set to witness P1 Powerboat racing on its shores. Procam International, under the aegis of Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) and P1 Global, will introduce the Indian grand prix of the sea in March. It will consist of seven teams (with two boats each) competing on a 5.2 km course. The event is scheduled to be held in Mumbai along the iconic Marine Drive.

A new spectator sport, powerboat racing is expected to rev up and exploit the potential of India’s huge coastline. Once successful, it could lay the blueprint for the sport in other Indian cities as well given that India has a coastline of over 7,500 km.

Betting on India

“Our aim is to reinvent the huge potential of India’s coastline. Powerboat Grand Prix are huge spectator sports globally and we wanted to bring the same to India,” Vivek Singh, Co-founder, Procam International, told BusinessLine. Procam, which has invested close to ₹20 crore to create the infrastructure for the event, said that it is also seeing interest from sponsors. “We have kept the maiden event free so as to generate awareness about the sport,” Singh said, adding that the aim was to create a global movement on sports.

Singh said the company may also look to take powerboat racing to other cities.

“Powerboats can race in just six feet of water and can reach a maximum speed of 120 km/hr,” he said. Singh said the company plans to have full circuit of 21 events by 2020.

Unlike in F1, where cars are different for different drivers, all the boats taking part in this race will have identical engines and specifications.

Singh said the organisers have roped in the world’s best pilots for the event with two from India – motor rally champion CS Santosh and APRC champion Gaurav Gill.

Sony ESPN roped in

Singh said that the Maharashtra Tourism Department is coordinating the event. Sony ESPN will telecast the event live. Maruti Suzuki Ltd is one of the key sponsors for the race.

Globally, the Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship is an international motorboat racing competition for powerboats organised by the Union Internationale Motonautique and promoted by H2O Racing; hence, it is often being referred to as F1H2O.

Each race lasts about 45 minutes following a circuit marked out in a selected stretch of water, usually a lake, river, dock, or sheltered bay. In the 2016 season, a total of 10 teams entered at least one race.

Published on February 19, 2017
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