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Abu Dhabi added to Class One calendar

posted on 08/07/2009: 470 views



Abu Dhabi has been accepted as the latest venue for the Class One World Powerboat Championship later this season.

Abu Dhabi was chosen to host the penultimate round of the 2009 event at a meeting of promoters from International Offshore Teams Association (IOTA) and local organisers from Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) earlier this week.

The agreement to host the race off the Corniche and Lulu Island in the UAE capital from November 19-21 was signed between Sheikh Hassan Bin Jaber Al Thani, president of IOTA, and Marco Sala, general secretary of IOTA, and Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, chairman of the board of directors of ADIMSC.

Saeed Hareb, chairman of the World Professional Powerboat Association and managing director of Dubai International Marine Club venue for the final round of the Class One World Powerboat Championship, welcomed the conditional acceptance of Abu Dhabi as a new venue.

"Abu Dhabi has the best infrastructure for watersports and they have shown their potential by hosting the Formula One powerboat world series for the past few years. Now that they have agreed upon the venue, I hope the parties reach the final agreement," Hareb stated.

This will be the third Class One powerboat race in the Middle East after Doha hosted the opening round in April. And Dubai will stage the final round of this season.

The global economic recession has forced organisers to rethink the race calendar and it was decided to host just six rounds in the competition this season.

The next round will be the Norwegian Grand Prix in Arendal from July 17-19 followed by the Romanian Grand Prix in Constanta from August 28-30 and the Italian Grand Prix from October 2-4 before turning back for the last two rounds in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Class One has been striving to make the sport more exciting for the fans and teams involved by introducing a two-race format for the first time starting with the Norwegian Grand Prix later this month.

The new format, which has been welcomed by all Class One organisers and teams, will see the first practice taking place as usual on a Friday followed by an extended one-and-a-half-hour session on Saturday morning and qualifying in the Edox Pole Position and Race One later in the afternoon. – Gulf News

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