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.
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.
Sleek 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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]
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