E1 Series Launches World-First Sustainable Boat Championship

The world’s first sustainable electric powerboat championship kickstarted in Jeddah. Here’s why it’s important according to Co-Founder and CEO Rodi Basso

History was made on the 2nd February 2024. A world-first electric boat racing championship was launched following years of planning and partnership conversations among motorsport enterprise and organising bodies as well as the coastal cities of the world, and even celebrities as they endorsed the event that changed how spectators view electrification and the motorsport industry as whole. 

We’re talking about the UIM E1 Series World Championship. Founded by Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO EXTREME E and Founder & Chairman FiA Formula E & E1 Series, and Rodi Basso, the CEO of the E1 Series, the racing series will see the proprietary electric boat known as the RaceBird set off on a global journey to inspire change and shed light on the capabilities of electrical technologies in the marine industry. 

While the ocean is known as one of the most challenging environments of nature, the boating industry is making some significant changes to how they operate their watercraft, however, there are still challenges that remain and, to overcome those challenges, organisations must redesign and innovate in ways unseen in the industry. 

The E1 Series showcases the technical prowess behind such important developments in the marine industry, but also how boats can become more sustainable, by leveraging alternative power and unique architecture to minimise their impact in even the most challenging scenarios. 

Almost a year ago, Basso joined us at the first ever EV Magazine LIVE event where he introduced, in person, the E1 Series as one of its founders and biggest advocates. 

“What is the best possible opportunity, if not a sports platform, to try and drive change with the excuse of building an exciting sporting format, delivering an important message,” said Rodi Basso at the event. “It’s not only a communication effort. What we want to propose as E1, as the world electric powerboat championship, is an execution platform.”

What’s so special about the UIM E1 Series World Championship? 

The racing series follows on from two very successful electrified motorsports that showcase the capabilities of electric in the toughest environments and challenging racing scenarios. However, the industry is well-accustomed to innovation on land while very rarely do spectators witness live motorsport on the open water. 

With this, the RaceBird—the electric powerboat built specifically for the E1 Series—showcased the incredible power of electric propulsion at the launch event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, while allowing the pilots (the name for the driver) to glide on the water, which minimises disruption to the water beneath it. 

The hydrofoil technology used in the RaceBird is one already seen in the marine industry, and it can have a significant impact on vehicle efficiency. 

The E1 Series encourages marine sustainability 

The organising committee has witnessed a great reception of the new motorsport with input from various stakeholders, including famous individuals live Steve Aoki (a world-renowned superstar DJ), Tom Brady, Rafa Nadal. Sergio Perez, Didier Drogba, and Marcelo Claure (a Bolivian-American technology entrepreneur). 

The approach of the E1 Series is to get people engaged. While sustainability is paramount for the project, the team recognises the need to build an audience in order to spread the message. Working with well-known celebrities grabs the attention of spectators, but the real impact will lie among the cities in which the race series features. 

The E1 Series also grabbed the intention of a variety of partners that came together to make the launch happen, including the principal partner Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, alongside championship partners Mercury Racing, SIMRAD, C-MAP, and its list of suppliers. 

The E1 Series follows in the footsteps of its sister motorsport events as it leaves behind a sustainable legacy in each host city. This will be carried out by the team and is backed by research from marine biologists led by Carlos Duarte

The racing championship will act as the campaign to raise awareness and fund the work that goes on behind the scenes to generate long-term impact across the globe. 

The UIM E1 Series race calendar:

12th May - Venice, Italy 

2nd June - Puerto Banús, Marbella, Spain 

30th June - Geneva, Switzerland

27th July - Monaco 

8th September - Rotterdam, Netherlands 

10th November - Hong Kong, China 

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