29 Apr 2010
Wow what a month! Whilst most people have been doing last minute preparations to their boats for the season ahead of them Powerboat P1’s World Championship competitors have been left wondering if they’d have a season to race in at all.
At an extraordinary meeting of Powerboat P1 Management and the Race teams on the 1st of April in London, The Chairman of Powerboat P1, Asif Rangoonwala, informed the P1 Supersport and Evolution teams that the 2010 World Championship would not happen.
So a little over a month from the first scheduled P1 World Championship Event in Yalta, Ukraine and we were left with no championship to run in. For me personally I think the world actually stopped turning or it definitely felt that way. After months of hard work securing a fantastic sponsorship deal with Superbrand Rotary Watches and joining a fantastic team in Spirit of Belgium I finally thought my World Championship Title that I’ve worked so hard for over the last 14 years was finally in my grasp and was looking forward to fighting for it.
The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind with lots of hard work being put in by many people passionate about the sport. Being driven by Jean-Marie Van Lancker, President of the UIM International Pleasure Navigation Commission and the Evolution and Supersport teams and with the backing of UIM President Dr Raffaele Chiulli the World Championship for 2010 will happen with 4 venues already secured and a proposed 1 more to follow very shortly. We must run 5 events (10 races) for World Championship status.
The opening round of the championship will take place next weekend in Yalta, Ukraine over the 7th – 9th May as scheduled originally and I will be there in the Spirit of Belgium Driving seat ready to get the season off to a flying start when the green flag drops!
It’s been a confusing few weeks but after the passion and drive of the racers and officials pushing the 2010 World Championship forward; we have a title to claim and are doing everything we can to achieve it. There has been real team camaraderie and unsung heroes working in the background. One of them is my team owner and throttleman Patrick Huybeghts and the series newly appointed secretary Kathy Van Lancker – without them my team certainly would be not racing and the series would not have happened this year that’s for sure!
I must give a huge thank you to Rotary Watches who have given me endless support throughout this time of uncertainty, new to the World of Sports Sponsorship I wouldn’t have blamed them had they wanted to pull out after finding out the Championship in question. But they have stood by me 100% already proving what a fantastic sponsor they are and will be in the future. Sponsorship is already so hard to come by in the present climate and to find a sponsor that will support you and work with you even when massive problems arise is unheard of, If Formula 1 discontinued tomorrow would Vodafone still sponsor Jenson Button in another Race Series ?
So finally my attentions turn back to claiming my World Championship Title in driving seat of Spirit of Belgium and with Rotary Watches backing us. Its going to be an interesting season so watch this space!
New UIM World Championship Calendar:
7-9 May UKRAINE Yalta
11-13 June MALTA Valletta
9-11 July ITALY Sardinia
6-8 August SWEDEN To be confirmed
17-19 September ITALY, Sicily Syracuse
But for now i'm off to the Jersey Boat Show to open it this weekend before I start packing for the Ukraine