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Jeddah to host first-ever E1 race on the Red Sea in early 2024

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e1 series

The countdown to the inaugural season of the UIM E1 World Championship has begun, with series organisers confirming that Jeddah will host the first-ever E1 race.

The E1 teams and pilots will make their competitive debut in Jeddah, using a course which is set to be situated on the city’s spectacular waterfront. E1 organisers will be conducting feasibility studies and evaluating several potential race locations along the Red Sea, following which the final venue and event dates will be confirmed.

Given the foiling characteristics of the RaceBird, all E1 events will take place close to shore, with spectators able to easily view the action from land.

E1 events will be held over the course of two days with practice sessions, qualifying and knockout races. Pilots will go head-to-head in a number of heats to determine who progresses to the next stage. The fastest teams and pilots will advance to the final to decide the winner.

Water sport in Saudi Arabia

Jeddah is the first confirmed city for the inaugural season of the UIM E1 World Championship, with more venues to be announced in due course. The event is in partnership with the Ministry of Sport and the Saudi Water Sports & Diving Federation who have ambitions for the rapid growth of water sports in Saudi Arabia as part of its ‘Vision 2030’.

E1 Founder Rodi Basso with HRH Prince Sultan bin Fahd bin Salman Al Saud, Chairman of the Saudi Water Sports & Diving Federation – On cover E1 Founder Alejandro Agag with Saudi Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal

Before the championship heads to Jeddah for the opening round of the season, E1 will visit Rotterdam for the annual World Port Days taking place on September 1-3, 2023, where multiple boats will be on the water as part of a pre-season showcase event.

This partnership with E1 will help us to accelerate the growth of water sports in Saudi Arabia. The exciting foiling racing with the world’s best pilots is the perfect catalyst to inspire participation in water sports amongst the 9 million people living on the Red Sea coast, whose lives will be transformed through the sustainable technologies being developed and showcased by E1. It will be an honour to host in Jeddah the inaugural event of this exciting new World Championship.HRH Prince Sultan bin Fahd bin Salman Al Saud, Chairman of the Saudi Water Sports & Diving Federation
A thrilling spectacle on the Red Sea

Alejandro Agag, Co-Founder & Chairman of E1, said:

Having had the experience of launching two electric racing championships, I know the importance of the first race and choosing a location that is impactful and showcases the sport at its best. Having Jeddah as the first E1 race was an obvious choice, thanks to the backing of our investors at the PIF and the continued support from the Ministry of Sport and the Saudi Water Sports & Diving Federation. I’d like to thank them for their support. Seeing the RaceBirds battling for position on the Red Sea will be a thrilling spectacle and is the perfect venue to launch the UIM E1 World Championship.

Rodi Basso, Co-Founder & CEO of E1, said:

It’s an amazing feeling to confirm the date for the first-ever E1 race, which will take place in Jeddah in early 2024, Q1 next year. I can already picture the RaceBirds going side-by-side as they approach the first mark along Jeddah’s spectacular waterfront. There’s lots of work going on behind the scenes in preparation for the inaugural season and we’re continuing to hold talks with many interested parties looking to host a race or enter a team.”

Set-up of the RaceBird

Engineers at SeaBird Technologies have completed a rigorous testing programme, fine-tuning the performance and set-up of the RaceBird prototype 1, ahead of a race-ready prototype 2 which will be manufactured and assembled by Victory Marine – led by naval architect Brunello Acampora.

Teams will receive delivery of their RaceBird boats later this year, with a maximum of 10 spots available on the E1 starting grid. Each team must field two pilots of different genders, who rotate driving duties throughout the race weekend.

So far, four teams have signed up to compete in the championship, with tennis icon Rafael Nadal entering Team Spain and Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez with Team Mexico lining-up on the grid alongside Team Drogba and the Venice Racing Team.

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