Powerboat P1 is the world’s largest marine motorsport series, with more than 150 racers taking part in national powerboat and jet-ski championships in the USA and UK.
This can only be a ‘must see’ spectacular for Inverclyde this summer – and Greenock has a great spectrum of watesirde viewing places to get the best of it.
Caledonian MacBrayne, the operator of the UK’s largest ferry network, has become a leading sponsor of the first ever P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea.
Co-hosted by Inverclyde Council and Riverside Inverclyde, the powerboat championships, organised by the world’s biggest marine motorsport brand, Powerboat P1, will take place in Greenock on 18th and 19th June 2016.
Bringing high octane thrills to the banks of the Clyde, P1 Superstock powerboats and P1 AquaX jet skis will spend two days racing hard for points towards the UK Championship crown – awarded at the end of the five-round series.
The P1 race course will be located close-to-shore at Greenock’s Esplanade, making it ideal for spectators to catch all the free-to-watch action. There will also be a dedicated area for spectator boats.
In addition to the 15,000 spectators that are expected on each day, the event will be broadcast on Sky Sports and Motors TV in the UK; and internationally to more than 400 million homes in over 100 countries.
P1 Chief Operating Officer, Robert Wicks says: ‘We are very much aware of CalMac’s cultural heritage and the value it delivers to the island and mainland communities it serves through investment in people, the transport sector and the Scottish economy as a whole, so we are delighted to have them on board for our first ever race event in Scotland.
‘CalMac is the perfect partner to help us make a significant economic and social impact in the region.’
CalMac’s Head of Commercial, Graeme MacFarlan says: ‘We have a long history of supporting community events and we are delighted to add the P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea to our list for 2016.
‘We are keen to increase the contribution we make to the development of Scottish marine tourism and welcomed the opportunity to become involved in an event of this calibre. Inverclyde is our base and we pride ourselves on the relationships we have locally and are keen to do all we can to further tourism opportunities in the area.’
CalMac has been part of the fabric of Inverclyde- through being head-quartered at Gourock since the late 1800s. It is no stranger to power at sea – albeit in the form of all manner of ferries, past and present.
Not necessarily known for their speed and agility, these powerhouses of the waves have, however, formed and continue to form the backbone of a company – and are part of the familiar maritime scenery of the west coast – delivering lifeline services the length and breadth of a 200-mile-long network for more than a century and a half.
The Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea will be the second round of the five-venue P1 UK race series, roaring off in Scarborough in mid-May and including events in Gosport, Cardiff and Bournemouth.
Inverclyde’s own P1 powerboat was revealed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in November 2015 and a search was launched for a suitable local powerboating duo to form the crew.
Inverclyde Council says: ‘The powerboat racing series, P1 SuperStock, is based on a one-design boat powered exclusively by BRP’s Evinrude engines which creates a level playing field and ensures costs are controlled and the sport remains accessible.
‘The jet-ski classes are based on 200hp – 300hp production models, with the full support of Sea-doo, Kawasaki and Yamaha. The close-to-shore race course and fun of the race village means P1 events are designed to excite and entertain, ensuring spectator enjoyment and sponsor value with a significant economic impact for the host venue.’
If the June event is successful, the hosts have pledged to look at the possibility of hosting it again in 2017 and 2018.
Note: The photographs above, which are pretty self explanatory [except that the top one shows last year’s event in Cardiff Bay], are reproduced here by courtesy of Powerboat P1.