x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Green light for the UAE

A powerboat series featuring 20 international teams is to launch in the UAE before the end of the year, according to the championship's new official promoter.

DUBAI // A powerboat series featuring 20 international teams is to launch in the UAE before the end of the year, according to the championship's new official promoter, Abdul Salim Fairooz. Fairooz, the managing director of Formula World Sports and a former powerboat racer, has been awarded exclusive promotional rights to the 2009-10 series of the Union International Motonautique (UIM) F2 World and Continental Powerboat Championships.

Six stops worth US$60,000 (Dh220,320) in prize money are expected on the tour including legs in Portugal, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as well as Ras al Khaimah and Fujairah. Despite the short time-frame to the end of the year, Fairooz says he does not have a firm date for the opening race. Emirati driver Malik Ibrahim will represent the UAE, although Fairooz hopes more will follow in subsequent years. "We are hoping to start in July," said the promoter who was behind the controls of a powerboat from 1994 to 1999. "We have the rights for three years and hope this is a starting point and we will grow the series from here.

"One of our main aims is to establish a school for powerboat drivers." Abu Dhabi and Sharjah already host rounds of the UIM F1 Powerboat World Championships but Fairooz, who says a season in the F2 format will cost teams $500,000, believes there is plenty of appetite for the sport and hopes to attract other hosts. "The races are very exciting for spectators because you can watch all the action from the shore," he said. "All you need is an 1800m course. It's a great way to promote an emirate or a country."

Fairooz is the first Emirati to be charged with the promotion of the F2 class. stregoning@thenational.ae