POWERBOAT P1 STRENGTHENS PRESENCE IN NORTH AMERICA
January 18, 2010, London: London-based, Powerboat P1 Management Ltd. announced today it plans to export its successful powerboat racing series to the United States with the formation of a North American subsidiary, Powerboat P1 USA.
"The United States market is critical to any multi-national company involved in motorsports marketing," said Asif Rangoonwala, Chairman of Powerboat P1. "We view participation in the USA as an essential element in our growth as a World Championship and as a business."
Powerboat P1 has spent the last two years in the US market developing awareness of the unique opportunities and format provided by Powerboat P1. Series organizers have also been researching possible racing venues to add to the Powerboat P1 World Championship, which has held events on three continents, all sanctioned by the international governing body, the Union Internationiale Motonautique (UIM).
With the recent evolution of powerboat racing in the USA, Powerboat P1 determined that its considerable resources and unique racing format could best be used to help refine the sport in North America, sanctioning with the USA representative to the UIM, the American Powerboat Association (APBA).
"The APBA represents 107 years of powerboat racing heritage, and is the oldest powerboat federation in the UIM," said Rangoonwala. "The APBA provides a high level of credibility to the sport, and we look forward to producing world class events with its sanctioning."
In December, APBA President, Mark Weber, hosted a meeting at the APBA headquarters in Eastpointe, MI, where he invited all of the US organizations to attend and discuss the future of the sport. The outcome was a positive exchange, where APBA expressed its desire to embrace offshore racing and bring the sport back together under a common national and internationally-recognized entity.
A central theme of the meeting included a sentiment that the autonomy and individual identities of the current racing series are important to maintain. However, the credibility and growth of the sport would still rely on a single governing body that can offer prestige and heritage, internationally-recognized records and titles, as well as APBA "Hall of Champions" recognition and speed record validation. Due to the size of the US market, the existing regional-based series' could operate under a single national authority [APBA], just as the individual national federations operate with the UIM as the international authority.
The Powerboat P1 USA events will build on the very effective "power to weight ratio" format that has been utilized throughout the European series. Initial plans for the P1 USA series include three v-bottom classes. Powerboat P1 USA would then represent a sub-set of other existing classes offered within the APBA offshore category, focusing on a limited number of classes for the Powerboat P1 USA Continental Championship.
The initial two-year plan includes intentions to work with the existing organizations in 2010 to more fully develop their regional races, laying the groundwork for joint productions of key race events in 2011. Powerboat P1 USA will also work on a focused marketing and promotional campaign to inform potential teams, venues and sponsors of the opportunities and value that a Powerboat P1 event generates on a global scale; but, stresses that it is striving for strong relationships with all of the current racing organizations and event producers.
"Powerboat P1 brings a respected level of professionalism to a series within the APBA," said Weber. "As an APBA sanctioned series, it will enhance the event value to local producers and to our current organizations."
"With strong regional organizations running their local series and hosting specific P1 USA series events, there's an opportunity for a genuine unification of the sport here that the vast majority of the racers support," said Powerboat P1 USA Director of North American Operations, Martin Sanborn. "APBA has been the backbone of powerboating in the US for over 100 years, and it represents the credibility and consistency that offshore powerboat racing needs to finally bring the sport together with common purpose and internationally-compatible rules," he added.
-source: powerboat p1