With the roar of engines along Marine Drive this morning, the world’s fastest men and women tested the waters for the first time and got familiar with the course on water. Procam International and P1 Global provided an overview on the technicalities involved for participant and viewer through the weekend of 3rd – 5th March 2017 at Marine Drive.
Robert Wicks, the COO of P1 Global, acknowledged that shipping the boats from Southampton in the UK to Mumbai has been a challenge, but was conquered efficiently with the boats on water for their first test drives today, at their full capacity and potential.
Anil Singh, the MD of Procam International, shared in his excitement of the race weekend being only two days away, saying, “India has over 7600 km of coastline, and we have another 2500km of internal waterfronts, 120 lakes, 20 majestic rivers. We have never used these as best we could; we needed to get the Indians to interact with the water”.
Arriving in Mumbai, Per Benson, Cominoff President of the UIM ( Union Internationale Motonautique)shared, “Coming from Europe, we have a lot of boat racing that happens there and being involved in the UIM for almost 4 decades, I always wondered why we haven’t made our foray into India and finally through PROCAM we have been able to get the sport to India in such a special way.”
The Safety team brought in from the UK and the United States for this race are highly trained, specifically for racing on water. The medical partners, Reliance Hospital will provide state of the art facility and care headed by Ashish Contractor and his team. About 50 Reliance Hospital personnel have also been trained by the P1 safety crew and briefed about the various aspects of rescue during the race. The safety team will also include navy divers, paramedics and other rescue professionals who will be manning the different marked zones on the track.
From a weather perspective, it is important that the race control team have clear view of the entire course.
Demography of Race
Sharing his thoughts on the demography of the race, Dave Taft, reserve Pilot for the NEXA P1 Powerboat, Indian Grand Prix of the Seas shared, “The natural geography of the bay will create a lot of disturbance on the water due to the wake of the boats on the course, which will be propagated throughout the 5.2km of race track. This may be a little tricky for the pilots, but their expertise will enable to them overcome the harsh waters. The heat will also play a major role this weekend, with a danger of dehydration for the pilots and navigators”. The pilots will also be racing an increased number of laps as implemented in the Grand Prix of the Seas Series.
NEXA P1 Powerboat, India Grand Prix of the Seas, is the first of the UIM recognized Grand Prix of the Seas. The 5-tier hierarchal structure will consist of a World Cup at the apex (to be held biennially starting in 2020) the Grand Prix of the Seas series, which will define a World Champion, inter-continental series, national series and regional series in orders of level of competition.
March 3 (Day 1)
Mandatory practice run -1:15 pm to 1:45 pm
Qualifying sessions – 2 pm to 5 pm
March 4 (Day 2)
Parade lap – 2 pm
Race 1 – 2:15 pm to 3 pm
Mandatory Gap – 3 pm to 4 pm
Race 2 – 4 pm to 4:45 pm
March 5 (Day 3)
Free Practice Run – 2 pm
Parade Lap -2:45 pm
Grand Finale – 3 pm to 4 pm
Podium Presentation – 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Race 1 & 2 will include start run and 15 laps with 2 pit laps. While the grand finale has a start run and 20 laps with 3 pit laps.
Each team, consisting of two P1 Panther Powerboats, manned by a pilot and a navigator, will compete on a 5.2km specially designed racetrack on water. The racetrack on water , a first in Powerboat Racing, will now be implemented across all Grand Prix of the Seas events and will prove to be a real test of skill and strategy for all pilots and navigators.
Boats of all teams will participate in Time Trials on Friday, the 3rd of March, to determine their start position for Race 1 on Day 2, Saturday, 4th March. The boat with the fastest qualifying lap on Friday will start at pole position followed by all subsequent boats in descending order.
Winning Race 1 will earn the boat 20 points while the second and third boats earn 17 and 15 points respectively. Each boat to finish subsequently earns one less point than the previous.
The grid position is reversed for Race 2 on Saturday, with the boat that finished last in Race 1 taking pole position followed by the other boats in ascending order.
Collecting points in the same points system as in Race 1, the boats with the highest cumulative points from Race 1 and 2 on Saturday, will determine the start grid for the Finale on Sunday.
Teams will be crowned winners of the USD 125,000 NEXA P1 Powerboat, Indian Grand Prix of the Seas by the total points of both the boats on their team across two days.
Catch all the action live on Sony ESPN, PIX SD & HD and Sony Liv from 2 pm to 5 pm, 3rd to 5th March 2017