Experiencing an Adrenaline Rush at the F1H20, Sharjah

F1H2O UIM World Championship

F1H2O UIM World Championship – Grand Prix of Sharjah, UAE

The water of the Khalid Lagoon gleamed in the glow cast by the late afternoon sun. The crowd in the VIP enclosure peered towards the water with bated breath. Excitement hung heavily in the air as the final race of the F1H2O UIM World Championship Powerboat racing was about to begin at Sharjah.

F1H2O UIM World Championship

Racing has always been an exciting sport, whether it be a running race or as Man evolved racing on horses, cars and so on. The skill of running evolved from the necessity of hunting in early Man and the earliest known competitive racing dates back to 1829 BCE. With the domestication of animals, invention of the wheel and the automobile, as well as the mastery over water and air other forms of racing evolved.

F1H2O UIM World ChampionshipSleek and colorful boats lined up at the start pontoon for the Sharjah boat race. Each of the boats was objects of pure beauty and looked as if they had been designed by the imagination of a sculptor, such was the finesse of their shapely contours. But these boats which looked more like small planes, especially if you looked at their noses were not just beautiful and colorful catamarans. Their looks were deceptive and this would be proven very soon to us as each one of them ostensibly packed a lot of power.

F1H2O UIM World Championship

Within the boats and inside the cockpits sat the drivers, frozen in concentration, with an almost animal-like alertness, their hands clutching the steering wheel, their eyes looking unblinkingly out of the tiny window of the cockpit. They knew that a good start could make all the difference between winning and losing.

Time seemed to stand still. A strange and hushed silence enveloped the lagoon. The only sounds that could be heard was that of the wind blowing across the lagoon and the excited breathing of the spectators. The boats and their drivers stood poised on the threshold of victory or defeat.

Everyone waited. Waited for the start of what would be 45 laps of sheer thrills and spills.

And then they were off!

The silence of a few seconds ago was smitten by the thunderous roar of the powerful engines. The boats glided through the water at great speed unleashing a collective raw power of more than 10,000 HP, that belied their light and aerodynamic structures.

A white curtain of water rose behind the boats as each driver strained to nose his boat forward to take an early lead. It was boat number 3 driven by Ahmed Al Hameli who nosed ahead of the pack with remarkable dexterity, however, his joy was shortlived as a man called Alex Carella in boat number 6 calmly and smoothly left the pack far behind to forge ahead.

F1H2O UIM World Championship

The boats seemed to kiss the surface of the water as they moved at speeds close to a staggering 140 Miles/Hour on the straight run and took the turns at mind-boggling speeds of up to 90 Miles/Hour. They went round and round the lagoon with relentless speed, the drivers giving their everything to get that bit of extra speed from their engines to inch closer to the next boat. The turns were taken at breakneck speed, in many cases, the boats seemed to be literally flying in the air and barely touching the water. There were many thrills as the boats demonstrated their raw power as well as aerodynamic balancing on the waters of the Khalid Lagoon in Sharjah.

F1H2O UIM World Championship

A couple of drivers had to abandon the race and that included the unfortunate Ahmed Al Hameli who had gotten off to a great start. The drivers raced the waters lap after lap as the crowd watched in awe at the stunning spectacle that was unfolding before their eyes. The battle for supremacy of the waters of the Khalid Lagoon held everyone transfixed as the boats closed in for the last and final lap.

F1H2O UIM World Championship

But the man of the moment was the Italian Alex Carella of Team Abu Dhabi in boat 6 who scripted his own success story as he steered his boat with remarkable panache and confidence. He was in a different league altogether and left the others far behind as he raced towards his fourth F1 H2O World Championship victory. The race was now over, bar the clapping which was thunderous as the victors climbed on to the podium.

F1H2O UIM World Championship

Joining Alex Carella on the victory podium was Jonas Andersson from Team Sweden at number two and Thani Al Quemzi from Team Abu Dhabi at number 3, making it a double whammy for Team Abu Dhabi.

F1H2O UIM World Championship F1H2O UIM World Championship

F1H2O UIM World Championship

F1H2O UIM World Championship

As we left the waters of Khalid Lagoon, the roar of the powerboats zipping at phenomenal speeds and seemingly caressing the waters still echoed in our minds. The F1 powerboat racing, Sharjah had left an indelible mark. But the race was over for the moment, till another race, another season, and another winner would mark their presence in history.

To catch a slice of the action at the 2017 F1H2O UIM World Championship, Sharjah do watch our video:


About the F1H2O UIM World Championship, Sharjah

The UIM, F1H2O World Championship is a stellar event organized every year under the aegis of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) with the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Quasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.

F1H2O UIM World Championship? All You Wanted to Know About F1 H2O But Were Afraid to Ask

F1, what immediately comes to the mind of most people on the mention of this term is car racing. I was no exception and always thought that F1 Formula Racing meant only car racing. But my ignorance transformed into enlightenment when I got the opportunity to watch the F1H2O UIM World Championship – Grand Prix of Sharjah, UAE live from the VIP enclosure. The experience was nothing short of a revelation as I watched what is regarded as one of the most spectacular sports in the world. For my own understanding and for many others like me who associate F1 with cars, here are a few nuggets of knowledge about  F1H20 powerboat racing.

  • The F1H2O UIM World Championship has been happening for 35 years. It is an international motorboat racing competition for powerboats
  • The racing competition is organized by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) and promoted by H2O Racing
  • The F1 Powerboat World Championship has seen Grand Prix events across 32 countries spanning five continents including the Grand Prix of Sharjah, UAE
  • The modern boats that take part in the championship are extremely light and made of composite material
  • The boats are highly safe with drivers being strapped to their seats in cockpits and also there is provision of airbags
  • The excitement of the F1 powerboat racing is broadcast live to over 20 countries
  • The F1H2O UIM World Championship usually has seven Grand Prix which take place across Europe, China, Asia, and the United Arab Emirates
  • The annual calendar for the F1H2O UIM World Championship is usually announced towards the end of January
  • The excitement of the Championship builds to a climax as it culminates in the well established and traditional venues in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi
  • A trip to Sharjah around the time of the Grand Prix of Sharjah promises extra excitement and one should definitely plan a visit during the Sharjah World Championship week

If you are traveling to Sharjah and plan to attend the F1 H2O event then do check out these tips.

Voyager Tips:
  • Wear a hat or a cap during the event since it could be sunny
  • Sunglasses are a must to protect yourself from the harsh glare of the sun during the afternoons
  • Carry your camera and phone with sufficient batteries and memory so that you can go on a clicking spree

When you are in Sharjah to soak in the spectacular and stunning experience of the F1H2O UIM World Championship, do keep some time aside to explore the other treasures of Sharjah city and do not forget to visit the amazing archaeological sites of Mleiha, otherwise, your visit to Sharjah will remain incomplete.

Do you love adventure activities? Does racing give you an adrenaline rush? Have you attended the F1H2O UIM World Championship or have you experienced the thrills of F1 racing? Let your thoughts come racing in through our comments section, we are waiting for them.


We were hosted by Sharjah Tourism. However, the views and opinions expressed here are our own based on our experience. If you are planning a trip to Sharjah then you may contact Outbound Konnections Reps Pvt. Ltd. Email to: [email protected] 

F1H2O UIM World Championship

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57 thoughts on “Experiencing an Adrenaline Rush at the F1H20, Sharjah

  1. robin rue Reply

    Wow! That must have been SO cool to watch in person. I haven never heard of this event, but would love to attend myself someday!

  2. Candy Reply

    Watching racing is not something I usually do. We usually watch car racing. Never did speed boats. Sound exciting.

  3. Oana Reply

    I never watched a motorboat racing to be honest but it does sound really exciting. At 140 miles/h the boats are flying on the water, you must have some steady hands to capture the racing boats. Too bad Hameli had to abandon the race after his great start.

  4. Marvi Reply

    I’m no athlete, but I definitely love a good race! This F1H2O UIM World Championship looks really fun and very exciting. I honestly didn’t know there was a motorboat racing too! I’m sure I’d jump up and down in the sidelines! 😀

  5. Natasha Reply

    Racing with that skyline as a backdrop has to be wonderful! It looks gorgeous! I’m sure you all had a blast too! I can’t wait to get to the UAE this year!

  6. Amber Myers Reply

    How cool, I didn’t know about this. I think it would be fun to see. I’m not sure if I’d stay the entire time, but an hour or so would be neat.

  7. Emily Reply

    Wow, this would be so fun to see! I don’t think driving those would be something I would ever want to do, but going and watching them speed by I could handle. What a beautiful setting!

  8. Pam Reply

    I have never seen this event beforehand. It looks like a lot of fun to watch, especially in person.

  9. Debra Hawkins Reply

    I had no idea this was even a thing but I want in. This sounds like it is crazy awesome to watch.

  10. Nathan Reply

    Thanks for sharing about this competition – I’ve never heard of the F1H2O race before! The UAE skyline in the backgroud really makes it an ideal location for this competition. Must have been fun watching it!

  11. Milosz Zak Reply

    Wow, this is pretty awesome! I happened by chance on the Red Bull competition in Budapest – something similar to what you experienced. In that one, they flew propeller planes through an obstacle course above the river that cuts Buda and Pest in two. Awesome photos!

  12. Megan Indoe Reply

    Wow, what a cool experience to witness first hand! I didn’t even know there were powerboat races! I don’t think you’ll ever catch me on one of those boats though! We happened to be at one race (I want to say it was Formula 1 but not sure) when we were visiting Singapore and never got to see anything, just hear it all! It would be fun to see something like this in action!

  13. Lori Reply

    Wow, what a thrilling event to see in person! I’ve only ever seen these kind of powerboat races on TV. Love your blow-by-blow narration of what looks like a really fun event to see in Sharjah!

  14. Jillian Spellman Reply

    I don’t think watching it would get me all that excited, but if I was in the actual boat it would be fun. Looks like it was a really fun day!

  15. Candy Reply

    I’ve never been to any type of race like this so I can only imagine how exciting it must be to see in person. I’ve seen race cars on TV, but not races on water. It sounds like you had a great time and congrats to the winners!

  16. Ricci Reply

    I’ve never been to any races but this seems like an amazing trip to take!! Im so excited that you got to go and experienced all of this!!

  17. Chantell Collins Reply

    How fun! I have never been much into racing but would definitely try seeing an event like this live. It must be very exciting to watch from the crowd.

  18. Anosa Malanga Reply

    Wow, this is such an very nice event. I never experience watching this live and I would love to! I am sure there are adrenaline rush for the viewers and contestants.

  19. Renata Reply

    The number of events happening in the UAE is amazing (whereby sometimes a bit crazy: who needs ice skating in the desert?!) and this really seems to be a very cool and exciting race. What I enjoyed about your post is the poetic and tender language you use to describe this rough and tough event – good contrast!

  20. Vibeke Reply

    Must be so cool to watch that. So good you included the F1H2O UIM World Championship answers, such good information as I didn’t know much about this 🙂 Thank you.

  21. Paige Wunder Reply

    I’ve never watched a motorboat race, which is weird because it’s really popular in the Ozarks, but this sounds like such a unique experience. I don’t think they’re anything like this though. I’d love to check thereout sometime!

  22. Varsha Reply

    That’s great information. I never knew about this F1. My family will love to visit this place. To watch the race live must be very exciting.

  23. Laura Nalin Reply

    I had never heard of this until now, so it was pretty cool to read a bit more about this. It would be awesome to see something like this in person — the video is exciting!!

  24. neha Reply

    Even I thought it was some kind of car racing event when I read the title. But then, it’s very different. And someone like me would personally feel more excitement watching this event than a car race. How much fun it must be participating in f2h2o

  25. ada Reply

    Thats a first time Iam hearing about city in UAE which isn’t Dubai! 🙂 Sharjah looks lovely! Ive never heard about powerboats championship neither to be honest but that looks so much fun! Congratulation to the winner!

  26. Bruce Schinkel Reply

    Wow, what an incredible experience! I love mixing sports in with my travels (even did a post about it), but haven’t gotten to a power boat race yet. Something that definitely needs to change soon 🙂

  27. Christina Reply

    I have heard of this before but not the specific race. I’ve thought it would be cool to witness first hand one day. I have seen videos before of the danger of the boats too and it can be down right scary. Nonetheless I am sure it was impressive from the VIP tent.

  28. Katie Reply

    This looks like so much fun to watch! Embarrassed to admit, but I didn’t realise powerboat races were even a thing! Looks like the sport is really popular though! 🙂

  29. Megan Jerrard Reply

    This would be INCREDIBLE! It looks like the boats are just barely skimming the water through half of the race they’re moving at such a fast pace! I would love to make it to the F1 H2O World Championship one year – I will admit to thinking first that this would be about cars too – but how incredible that they race motorboats.

  30. Aimee Horgan Reply

    Such a cool and unique experience. If I’m honest I’ve not heard of the F1H20 championships until now but I’d love to see it in action after reading this!

  31. Anu Reply

    I have walked around the whole of Khalid Lagoon both during the day and during the night. It is such a lovely place. To watch a high powered boat race on it must have been an experience. I missed this event due to other commitments. Next time, will try and not miss the race.

  32. Danik Reply

    I would have to admit, this is something I couldnt do, watching boats wizz around the sea. I find car racing boring as well :O But the scenery around the place looks like a great place to host it. 🙂

  33. Dany Reply

    Oh gosh my husband would absolutely love this! We’ve never attended an event like this but I bet the thrill was amazing, and I had no idea they had a raw power of more than 10.000HP!!!!

  34. Knucx.journeying Reply

    Wow Sandy the championship was exciting and amazing. I had no idea that it had been since 35 years ago. I watched the F1 race in macau but F1 H2O offers a more open view with Dubai as the backdrop. Maybe I should consider visiting the event in 2018! @knycx.journeying

  35. Lara Dunning Reply

    I’ve never heard of this race, and it looks like a great experience for sports and adrenaline travelers. Plus, races on the water would add a different dynamic to watching a race. We have hydroplane races in Washington. I’ve never been, but it is really popular.

  36. Darlene Reply

    Enlightening! I didn’t also know that F1 can also be applied in water sports. And yes, those boats sure do look like cars in the water. I hope to get there in Sharjah for the next F1 H20 UIM World Championship.

  37. Swati Reply

    The event looks like so much fun. You seem to have an awesome time there. I initially thought it to be a car racing. <> I would love to attend F1 event and Sharjah someday…

  38. Mik Reply

    You have some great info hear about this sport! So cool seeing these things whip across the water. I really enjoyed watching the video and seeing them in action. I know I could not handle driving one of those things in a race. Great coverage!

  39. Yukti Reply

    F1H2O UIM World Championship looks so adventurous and action filled event. Speed boats with gushing speeds, along the picturesque skyline of Sharjah makes it a worth watch event.

  40. Samantha Sparrow Reply

    Wow, I had no idea that this type of racing existed on the water too! What a rush. This isn’t my sort of thing normally, but if I was visited the UAE I would totally want to watch, as I love how into it the crowd gets – I’m sure it would be exciting!

  41. Abhinav Singh Reply

    I enjoyed watching the 2017 F1H2O UIM World Championship with you. The winner deserves all the success. He was so exhausted after he won the race. I enjoyed watching your videos too. The gala night dinner was something which I would remember for a long time.

  42. Jen Joslin Reply

    This looks like such a cool event! I didn’t even know there was a Grand Prix of boat racing. For some reason this sounds much more exciting to watch than race cars. If I ever get the opportunity I’d love to attend the F1 H2O World Championship!

  43. Archana Singh Reply

    Well, having experienced it first hand, all i can say is it is totally worth visiting for. Being a sports lover, it brought fantastic memories of F1. Although, it was my first time to see F1 on water. But what an incredible experience.

  44. Katchutravels Reply

    The only sport I grew up with a mention of Sharjah was cricket. Did not know about Powerboat racing as such. Are you able to figure out who is racing or is in the race from a distance? I am guessing there’s live coverage available to help out apart from seeing it in person. I will google up more about this sport that I have hardly heard anything about. Thanks for introducing us to different facets of UAE post by post 🙂

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