Prince Sultan bin Fahad bin Abdulaziz reveals plan ahead of Saudi Arabia hosting first round of the 2019 F1H2O World Championship season
Saudi Arabia is planning to put together its own team to compete in the F1H2O Powerboat World Championship as it seeks to encourage more Saudis to take part in water sports.
Prince Sultan bin Fahad bin Abdulaziz, chairman of the Saudi Water Sports and Diving Federation (SWSDF), revealed the plan as he announced the completion of all logistical and technical preparations for the F1H2O Saudi Arabia Grand Prix which will officially kick off the 2019 F1H2O World Championship season.
The SWSDF said new waterfront facilities were ready ahead of the qualifying rounds of the Grand Prix on Saturday.
The SWSDF also confirmed the arrival of the 18 drivers and support crew of the nine teams who will compete for Saudi Grand Prix title in Dammam.
The teams, whose drivers hail from 11 countries, include Team Abu Dhabi, Victory Team, CTIC F1 Shenzhen China, F1 Atlantic, Sharjah Team, Team Amaravati, Blaze Performance, Emirates Racing and Maverick F1.
Prince Sultan said: “This event represents yet another big step towards bolstering Saudi Arabia’s position as a leading global destination for sports and an active contributor to the international sporting community.
“We have a plan in place to build an all-Saudi team to compete in the F1H2O series, and hope that this event serves as a launching pad to get more Saudis to get involved in water sports, and are currently working on developing the necessary infrastructure for that to happen.”
Nicolo di San Germano, president of H2O racing, added: “It is a great pleasure for all of us to be here in Dammam for the UIM F1H2O Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia.
"I would like to thank our everyone involved for their hard work and cooperation which has enabled us to consolidate our racing footprint in the Middle East, especially in Saudi Arabia which is a growing force and important destination in world sports, and we look forward to a continued and long-lasting association with the Kingdom in the field of racing.”
Each Grand Prix racing circuit is around 2km long, and consist of at least one long straight in which the powerboats can reach top speeds of more than 220km per hour, as well as numerous hairpin turns which are tackled at speeds of over 140km per hour.
Saudi Arabia is seeking to put itself on the global sporting map and has recently hosted a round of the Formula E World Championship as well as made its debut on the European Tour golfing circuit.