UIM E1 Pilot Academy

UIM E1 racing

With the UIM E1 World Championship getting underway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in early 2024 – and team announcements gathering pace – training a new generation of racing stars in the UIM E1 Pilot Academy is about to get underway.

Looking for passionate athletes

The search is on for male and female athletes with experience in motorsport, cycling, Esports, extreme sports and high-speed sports who want to test their mettle in the world’s first all-electric boat racing series.

The Academy is managed by Nina Dreier who has previously worked with esteemed companies like Red Bull, Formula E and Extreme E, providing experience in the sports marketing and entertainment industry.

Along with expert tuition from other notable figures in the marine industry, candidates will undergo an advanced training course designed to test their racecraft skills at close quarters, in different vessels and in varying water conditions.

The process will culminate in August and September across Saudi Arabia, Italy and the UK, before the final 20 pilots are revealed in October.

Interested athletes are invited to submit an application to be considered for the first phase of Pilot Training by sending an email to pilottraining@e1series.com, with a paragraph summarising the below:

  • Name
  • Nationality
  • Second languages
  • Gender
  • Discipline
  • Resume or portfolio
  • Racing background
  • Social media handles or website
  • Availability (including other championships for 2024)
  • Passport validity/ability to travel

Following the search, UIM E1 World Championship teams and pilots will make their competitive debut in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia before racing again in Venice, Monaco, Rotterdam and more locations yet to be announced throughout 2024.

UM E1: a special racing

The UIM E1 World Championship is a fresh, unparalleled sport, requiring a unique vision. As project manager of the UIM E1 Pilot Academy, I’m devoted to creating a truly global competition, fostering inclusivity across sport disciplines. Together, we’ll nurture world-class RaceBird pilots, igniting the championship with their competitive drive and captivating fans worldwide.Nina Dreier, UIM Pilot Academy Programme Manager

UIM E1 World Championship 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.

A new form of racing - statements of organisers & partners

Gianmarco Casiraghi, Victory Marine Programme Manager and RaceBird validation pilot, stated:

The sensations of piloting the Racebird are closer to flying an aircraft rather than manoeuvring a race boat. It brings the third dimension of flying height to conventional powerboat racing. Pilot’s ability to reduce resistance, maximising stability and tame the boost function depending on sea state and course layout will play a key role throughout the UIM E1 World Championship.”

Steve Curtis, offshore powerboat racer and UIM E1 advisor, said:

“It truly will be an exciting time to see all the pilots coming together at the new UIM E1 Pilot Academy. We are seeking pioneers and ambassadors with racing in their blood, who can push the boundaries of a totally new form of racing and who will be integral to working out how to get the most out of the Racebirds. The Academy is not only put in place to see how well the pilots adapt to the new sensations of flying meets powerboating, but also to understand the rules, regulation and intricacies of this brand new sport.”

Raffaele Chiulli, President of UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique), said:

“Creating the UIM E1 Pilot Academy is a pioneering initiative, as it will add mastering foiling technology and electric propulsion to Powerboat racers’ alphabet, and I can’t wait to see the first male and female protagonists emerging from the Academy.”

Only 10 teams for the race

Engineers at SeaBird Technologies have completed a rigorous testing programme, fine-tuning the performance and set-up of the RaceBird, prototypes and production series.

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

So far, five teams have signed up to compete in the championship, led by NFL superstar Tom Brady, tennis legend Rafa Nadal, F1 icon Sergio Perez, former Chelsea soccer star Didier Drogba, and the Venice Racing team – and more will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned for more updates and announcements!