This November, beat the blues at Amaravati, as the capital city of Andhra Pradesh hosts the F1H2O Grand Prix. Cheer for the catamarans zooming at 150 mph on the Krishna, rejoice in the grand array of front-line powerboats and jet skis and meet the stars of the sport to take home memories of a lifetime. By Jyoti Verma
Amaravati, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh, is all set to host the much-awaited powerboat racing event of the year, the Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship (F1H2O) race. The fifth round of the 2018 Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) championship has begun on the Krishna, featuring teams from Amaravati and seven global cities. The teams, travelling from Portugal, the UK, France, Italy, China and the UAE, will also be the talk of the town with their outstanding boats and drivers. With the much-awaited event making a comeback to India after 14 years, the city is expected to attract a record crowd and action all over.
A globally loved event that started in 1981, F1H2O has millions of followers. Today, the world’s foremost international series of single-seater inshore circuit Formula 1 powerboat racing attracts up to 20 of the world’s leading drivers. The sport must be seen to be believed, as the small tunnel-hull catamarans enter hairpin turns at speeds of about 150 mph achieved on the straights. The championship takes place every year on some of the most challenging international circuits. Each race lasts about 45 minutes, following a course marked on a stretch of water—this time the beautiful Krishna river.
In 2018, the UIM championship began in Portugal on May 18, and later moved to France, the UK and China. The championship will culminate in Sharjah on December 15. Nine teams and 18 drivers from 12 countries are competing in the Grands Prix in Europe, the Middle East and Asia for the coveted world title; the prestigious number 1 plate being borne by the defending four-time world champion, Alex Carella from Italy. The last Indian edition of F1H2O was conducted in Mumbai in 2004 and was won by Francesco Cantando of Italy.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Some of the outstanding features of powerboating include engine power of 380 hp at 10.500 rpm with a top speed of 266 kmph (the official world record), and maximum g-force of 6 at turns. The race in Amaravati will be held on a 2.2-kilometre course in 44 laps. An event that will not only mesmerise the audience and speed aficionados, the race will also establish India as a preferred destination for mega water adventure sports contests.
To keep fans engaged throughout their stay in Andhra Pradesh, the state government, in association with the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, has planned a cultural extravaganza featuring a host of activities, from exhibitions and culinary trails to glass boat rides, quizzes , and contests.
A highlight will be the local fishermen’s boat race. A triple pontoon luxury boat and an AC bus boat have been commissioned by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority for this race. The crowd will also get to enjoy floating cafeterias and fast boats on the Krishna before the start of the F1H2O race. Come prepared to stay longer, as this may be one of the best events you will see this year. Hold on tight and feel the adrenaline.
BLOCK YOUR DATES
Catch the best single-seater inshore circuit racing in the world.
Where: Haritha Berm Park, near Kanaka Durga Temple, Bhavanipuram, Vijayawada,
When: November 16-18, 2018