|Category||Catamaran, single-engined, single-seater|
|Constructors||BaBa ·Blaze ·DAC ·Dragon ·Molgaard ·Moore|
|Engine suppliers||Mercury Marine|
(Team Abu Dhabi)
The Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship (also F1) is an international motorboat racing competition for powerboats organised by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) and promoted by H2O Racing, hence it often being referred to as F1H2O. It is the highest class of inshore powerboat racing in the world, and as such, with it sharing the title of F1, is similar to Formula One car racing. Each race lasts approximately 45 minutes following a circuit marked out in a selected stretch of water, usually a lake, river, dock, or sheltered bay.
The Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) is the international governing body of powerboating, based in the Principality of Monaco. It was founded in 1922, in Belgium, as the Union Internationale du Yachting Automobile.
Inshore powerboat racing is a form of water-based motorsport using powerboats in sheltered or inland stretches of water, including lakes, rivers, docks and sheltered bays. It is often referred to as circuit powerboat racing because of the frequency of inshore races to use the format of a circuit loop, around which boats race for a number of pre-determined laps.
Formula One is the highest class of single-seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and owned by the Formula One Group. The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950. The word "formula" in the name refers to the set of rules to which all participants' cars must conform. A Formula One season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, which take place worldwide on purpose-built circuits and on public roads.
Qualifying periods decide the formation of the grid, and timing equipment records the performance of competitors to decide the final classification and allocation of championship points.
The concept of a single unified championship for inshore powerboats had been conceived three years previously in 1978 when David Parkinson, an experienced PR manager, was offered the support of Mercury Marine, one of his clients, if he could establish such a series. The concept became the Canon Trophy, sponsored by another of Parkinson's clients, Canon Inc.
Mercury Marine, founded in 1939 as Kiekhaefer Mercury, is a division of the Brunswick Corporation. It is based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The company manufactures marine engines.
Canon Inc. is a Japanese multinational corporation specializing in the manufacture of imaging and optical products, including cameras, camcorders, photocopiers, steppers, computer printers and medical equipment. It's headquartered in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan.
A steady escalation in engine development between Mercury and arch-rival OMC was already underway as the Canon Trophy was formed, and this arms race ultimately resulted in massively powerful 3.5-litre (210 in3) V8 engines being used and led to the creation of the OZ class. Each manufacturer offered as many as half a dozen drivers with a free supply of these OZ class engines in a bid to succeed. The OZ engines differed from the ON class which was centred around a standard 2-litre capacity and consequently OZ machines, with their superior power, swept all before them. Matters came to a head when, in an attempt to extract an even greater advantage, Renato Molinari turned up with two engines on the back of his boat at the Italian Grand Prix. A petition was signed by 28 drivers in 1980 to outlaw the OZ boats and the Formula ON Drivers Association (FONDA) was born. Mercury withdrew their T4 engine and the split was confirmed. OZ and ON classes would have their own championships in 1981.
Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC) was a maker of Evinrude, Johnson and Gale Outboard Motors boat motors and many different brands of boats. It was a multibillion-dollar Fortune 500 corporation. Evinrude began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1907. OMC was based in Waukegan, Illinois. They also owned several lines of boats such as Chris Craft, Lowe Boats, Princecraft, Four Winns, SeaSwirl, Stratos, and Javelin. OMC was also a parent company to Ryan, which made lawn mowers.
Renato Molinari is an Italian powerboat racer, and the inaugural winner of the John Player Special F1 Powerboat World Championship in 1981, and won titles again in 1983 and 1984. In addition to this success, Molinari is an 18-time World Champion ; 11-time European Champion, 4-time winner of the Rouen 24 hours, 4-time winner of the Paris 6 hours; twice winner of the Parker Enduro and 3-time winner of the Berlin 6 hours.
Somewhat understandably, both championships attempted to use the title of Formula 1 to market themselves as the pinnacle of powerboat racing. For much of 1981 however it was largely irrelevant. John Player had chosen to support the OMC-powered OZ championship, giving it not only an advantage in speed and technology, but also marketing. The championship was still in its early stages with a small grid, but FONDA's ON class wasn't much better either and was effectively the remains of the Canon Trophy. Journalists of the period continued to use the familiar terms of ON and OZ to avoid confusion,and it was only when the UIM stepped in to sort out the mess that resulted in the OZ class being awarded Formula 1 status, with the ON class given the consolation title of "World Grand Prix". Thus, with the backing of the drivers' association behind it, the FONDA World Grand Prix Series entered into a period of being overshadowed by its bigger, faster brother, the Formula 1 World Series.
By bringing together the financial support and marketing ability of John Player Special, as well as the clarity and consistency of a championship with an established event structure, one which focused on sprint races rather than a mixture that included endurance races in previous years, the category allowed for a relatively stable environment in which the top powerboat teams and drivers could compete. A fixed points system made comprehension easy for spectators, with it matching its motor racing equivalent with 9, 6, 4, 3, 2, and finally 1 point on offer for the top six finishers.
Safety was always looming large in the background of the F1 series. The ever-increasing speeds of the 3.5-litre V8s, as OMC continued to refine them, meant that surviving a 'big one' was becoming less and less likely. In 1984, matters reached a tragic conclusion when Tom Percival was the last of four drivers to lose their lives in the space of a matter of months.Cees van der Velden pulled his three-boat Benson & Hedges-backed team from the final three races of the season, and Carlsberg cancelled their partnership with Roger Jenkins, having told the 1982 champion, "another death or serious injury, and they were out". OMC were able to pull together a depleted field to see out the season, but the writing was on the wall. It was the beginning of the end for Formula 1 as the OZ class.
Thomas Colin "Tom" Percival was a British powerboat racer.
Benson & Hedges is a British brand of cigarettes owned by either Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, or Japan Tobacco, depending on the region. In the UK, they are registered in Old Bond Street in London, and are manufactured in Lisnafillan, Ballymena, Northern Ireland.
Carlsberg A/S is a global brewer. Founded in 1847 by J. C. Jacobsen, the company's headquarters is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since Jacobsen's death in 1887, the majority owner of the company has been the Carlsberg Foundation. The company's flagship brand is Carlsberg. It also brews Tuborg, Kronenbourg, Somersby cider, Russia's best-selling beer Baltika, Belgian Grimbergen abbey beers, and more than 500 local beers.
Keen to keep the championship running however, OMC gave the F1 World Series a facelift. With Benson & Hedges vacating the series' title sponsorship, in came Champion to create the Champion Spark Plug F1 World Series, and a new Belgian promoter, Pro One, was tasked with turning the series around.Prize money was significantly increased to attract drivers and a greater presence in the United States was sought. Following the trends in hydroplanes with seat belts and safety cells, boat designer Chris Hodges introduced the first iteration of his safety cell which paved the way for a revolution in boat safety and Bob Spalding won the title driving for the Percival Hodges team. On the outside, it appeared as if Formula 1 was set for a new period of growth, until OMC uncovered the level of spending that Pro One had undertaken to raise the profile of the championship. Rumours suggested the promoter had spent the promotion budget for the next three years in a single season. Figures of $4–5 million were passed around. OMC called time on the whole European operation at the end of 1985 and in 1986, based solely in North America, the F1 World Series was wound down before it was completely assimilated into the domestic US championship.
Champion is an American brand of spark plug.
Hydroplane racing is a sport involving racing hydroplanes on lakes and rivers. It is a popular spectator sport in several countries.
Robert Fiske "Bob" Spalding was a British powerboat racer. He was born in Argentina to British parents. Spalding is a former F1 Powerboat World Champion and 4 times winner of the Paris six-hour.
From 1987 to 1989, there was no official Formula 1 championship. The FONDA World Grand Prix Series continued to operate with title sponsorship from Budweiser and benefitted from F1's demise in Europe as drivers moved back over. In simple terms Mercury's two litre formula had outlasted OMC's monster 3.5-litre V8s but the reality was far more complex than that. In the United States, Formula 1 lived on, but as far as the world stage was concerned, the powerboat community once again turned to David Parkinson, who having established the Canon Trophy back in 1978, was still at the helm of the FONDA series into which it had evolved. With no other challenger unlike ten years previously, the UIM reinstated the Formula 1 category to World Championship status and in 1990 the FONDA World Grand Prix Series became the Formula 1 World Championship.
David Parkinson continued to manage and promote the championship until the end of 1993, at which point he handed over to Nicolo di San Germano, who continues to lead the series to the present day. Di San Germano has overseen a period of continued improvements in driver safety, managed the championship through multiple economic downturns and seen a shift in focus for the series away from Europe towards the Middle East and Asia, driven by a need for financial stability. The cost has been a heavy one in the eyes of many traditional fans based in Europe as calendars and grid sizes have shrunk but the attraction remains – the series will return to Portugal and France in 2015 and there is a focus on four-stroke technology to finally overhaul the decades-old two-stroke engines that have dominated the sport since the very start.
Inaugurated in 1981, F1 powerboat racing is a Grand Prix style event, in which teams compete around the world each season. In the 2013 season, a total of 23 drivers and 9 teams entered at least one race, with 16 boats competing full-time. The races take place along a track of approximately 350 meters with multiple turns, over which the boats can reach 250 kilometers per hour (155 mph). The races are longer than most powerboat races at approximately 45 minutes, but still shorter than many car races.
F1 racing uses tunnel hull catamarans that are capable of both high speed and exceptional manoeuvrability. Overall, the boats weigh 860 pounds (390 kilogrammes), including 260 pounds (118 kilograms) of engine. They are 20 feet (6 metres) long and seven feet (2 metres) wide, keeping weight low through extensive use of carbon fiber and kevlar. The tunnel hull design creates aerodynamic lift due to a 'wing' formed by the deck and under surface of the hull. This increases lift and reduces drag, so that at speed only a few inches of the boat touch the water, leading to the high speed possible with these hulls.
F1 boats are powered by a Mercury Marine [ citation needed ] V6 two stroke that burns 100LL Avgas at a rate of 120 liters (32 gallons) per hour, generating over 400 horsepower at 10,500 rpm. This engine can propel the boats to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than two seconds and to a maximum speed of over 250 km/h (155 mph).[ citation needed ]
Although F1 boats have not changed much in appearance since the start of the event, the construction and safety has been dramatically improved from the original open-cockpit plywood boats.
The first major development was the hard composite cockpit capsule designed to break away from the rest of the boat in a crash. This also inaugurated the practice of securing the drivers to their seats with a harness. First developed by designer and racer Chris Hodges, this system was optional for a time due to the opposition of the drivers but, after it saved several drivers in major crashes, the UIM mandated it for all boats. In the early 1990s F1 boat builder Dave Burgess introduced a canopy that fully enclosed the cockpit to protect the driver from the full force of water in a nose-dive, similar to the system used in Unlimited hydroplanes a decade earlier. In the late 1990s boat builder DAC introduced an airbag situated behind the driver that prevents the cockpit from completely submerging if the boat flips.
These specific changes in safety features were also accompanied by a progression of lighter and stronger composite hulls that also reduced the hazards of racing. F1 drivers now also wear a HANS Head and Neck Restraint device similar to that worn by their Formula One automobile racing counterparts to combat head and neck injuries.
As of the 2007 season, all boats are required to have a protective crash box installed. [ citation needed ]Potential future safety features include collapsible bows that would deform rather than penetrate another hull.
Before obtaining a Super License to drive an F1 boat, drivers undergo a stringent medical and also an immersion test. This involves being strapped into a mock F1 cockpit. The cell is flipped over and the driver has to make his escape while being judged by safety officials.[ citation needed ]
The series is broadcast live to over twenty countries.
F-4s is the support class of F1 and is a part of the series since 2010. Every team has one F-4s boat. The class have two single races per race weekend. The boats uses a Mercury 60 HP stock EPA engine and reach a top speed around 120 km/h.
F4S runs 113 kilo 4 stroke motors rev-limited to 6250 RPM on very short tunnels. The top speed in competition is 120 km/h.
The USF1 Powerboat Touris a domestic US-based competition using powerboats that are very similar to those in the F1H2O World Championship. For some years the series co-existed alongside the Mercury-supported ChampBoat series which was formed in 2002 but which had ceased to exist by 2013. Terry Rinker dominated the ChampBoat series with four titles in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008.
Additional domestic F1 powerboat championships have been held in Australia,Argentina and South Africa.
Jetsprint or sprint boat racing is a form of racing sport in which jetboats, with a crew of two, race individually against the clock through a twisting series of channels in less than a metre of water.
Offshore powerboat racing is a type of racing by ocean-going powerboats, typically point-to-point racing.
Formula Three, also called Formula 3 or F3, is a class of open-wheel formula racing. The various championships held in Europe, Australia, South America and Asia form an important step for many prospective Formula One drivers. Formula Three has traditionally been regarded as the first major stepping stone for F1 hopefuls – it is typically the first point in a driver's career at which most drivers in the series are aiming at professional careers in racing rather than being amateurs and enthusiasts. F3 is not cheap, but is regarded as a key investment in a young driver's future career. Success in F3 can lead directly to a Formula 2 seat or even a Formula One test or race seat.
A motorboat, speedboat, or powerboat is a boat which is powered by an engine. Some motorboats are fitted with inboard engines, others have an outboard motor installed on the rear, containing the internal combustion engine, the gearbox and the propeller in one portable unit.
Power boating describes activities performed in a motorized boat. Generally, a power boat has a high power-to-weight ratio and a hull design that allows for easy planing, which allows for higher speed and improved handling. Also, the shape of the actual boat is usually very streamlined, which minimizes air resistance and drag, therefore increasing speed. Power boats are used in yachting, waterskiing and wakeboarding.
The UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship is an international motorboat racing competition for powerboats organised by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM). It is the highest class of offshore powerboat racing in the world.
Nations Cup, referred to officially as the UIM Nations Cup, was launched in 2011 and is officially sanctioned by the Monaco-based Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), the world governing body of powerboating.
The 2011 UIM F1 H2O World Championship was the 28th season of Formula 1 Powerboat racing. The calendar consisted of seven races, beginning in Doha, Qatar on 5 March 2011, and ending in Sharjah, UAE on 16 December 2011. Italian Alex Carella won the Drivers' World Championship, driving for the Qatar Team.
The 2012 UIM F1 H2O World Championship was the 29th season of Formula 1 Powerboat racing. Whilst a provisional calendar consisted of a total of nine rounds, following cancellations, an amended programme of six races, beginning in Doha, Qatar on 10 March 2012, and ending in Sharjah, UAE on 7 December 2012 was published by the UIM. At the penultimate race of the year in Abu Dhabi, reigning champion Alex Carella successfully defended his 2011 drivers' title, the Italian becoming a double world champion for the Qatar Team.
The 2013 UIM F1 H2O World Championship was the 30th season of Formula 1 Powerboat racing. For the first time in the championship's history, there was an event held in South America, with the first race of the year taking place in Brasilia on 1 and 2 June. In addition, the series' 250th race since it began in 1981 took place on 2 October at the Grand Prix of China in Liuzhou.
The 2014 UIM F1 H2O World Championship was the 31st season of Formula 1 Powerboat racing. Alex Carella, driving for the Qatar Team, entered the season as defending triple world champion having successfully defended his world championship for the second year in a row in 2013.
The Formula-4s Powerboat World Championship is an international inshore powerboat racing competition for powerboats organised by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), hence it often being referred to as F4s. “S” letter refers to abbreviation from 4-stroke, which means that 4-stroke boat engines are being used in this class.
The 2015 UIM F1 H2O World Championship was the 32nd season of Formula 1 Powerboat racing. The season consisted of six races, beginning in Doha, Qatar on 14 March 2015, and ending in Sharjah, UAE on 18 December 2015.
The 1981 John Player Special Formula 1 World Series was the inaugural season of Formula 1 Powerboat racing. Representing the 'OZ' racing class of the period, the championship was formed as a consequence of a difference of opinion between the leading figures in powerboat racing at the time, and was heavily supported by both John Player and engine manufacturer Outboard Marine Corporation, whose Johnson and Evinrude branded engines were used by the entire field. Whilst the series was designed to showcase the firm's huge 3.5 litre V8 engines, the very first race saw all boats using smaller V6 units and only six drivers would be given the V8 engines for the remainder of the year.
Fabio Buzzi is an Italian motorboat builder and racer.
The UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship is a powerboating sports competition. The UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship is the premier class of jetski racing, founded in 1992. Aquabike jetskis are personal watercraft vehicles purpose-built for racing and modified according to class. The UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship is organized and promoted by H2O Racing Ltd on behalf of the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), the governing body of powerboating and the exclusive entity recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). ABP refers to Aquabike Promotion.
The 2016 UIM F1 H2O World Championship was the 33rd season of Formula 1 Powerboat racing. The season consisted of seven races, beginning in Dubai, UAE on 4 March 2016, and ending in Sharjah, UAE on 16 December 2016, although initial plans indicated a ten race calendar.
The FIA Formula 2 Championship is a form of open wheel motor racing introduced in 2017 following the rebranding of the long-term Formula One feeder series, GP2 Series.
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