Powerboat P1 Management returned to Croatia this week to officially confirm that Split, the largest city in Dalmatia, will host the opening rounds of the 2010 World Championship, during the weekend of April 16-18.
The 2010 Championship will commence a month earlier than the traditional May start date with the opening Grand Prix of the Sea in Split, Croatia, which follows the conclusion of a three-year deal with one of the Adriatic’s most spectacular locations. In an exciting move, the event will be hosted in conjunction with the renowned Split Boat Show.
After personally visiting Split this week, Powerboat P1 Chairman and CEO, Asif Rangoonwala confidently predicted the Croatian Grand Prix of the Sea in 2010 will be 'one of the greatest-ever races staged by Powerboat P1 and an outstanding start to next year’s series.'
Rangoonwala said: “I’m thrilled to bring Powerboat P1 to a new market that meets our demanding venue selection criteria and expands our footprint beyond its central European base.”
Powerboat P1’s inaugural Croatian Grand Prix of the Sea will run in conjunction with the 12th Croatian Boat Show, considered as one of the best organised and most glamorous events on the international boat show calendar.
Rangoonwala is particularly excited at the prospect of a festival for the marine industry. He said: “This is the first time we have ever staged a race alongside an international boat show, so it’s going to be a huge celebration for the marine industry.”
“Some 50,000 visitors from around Europe came to the show in 2009 and I can promise they won’t go home disappointed in 2010.”
“This will be one of the finest events on the P1 calendar and the opportunity to partner with the boat show will give us the ideal opportunity to showcase the sport to a captive audience,” added Powerboat P1 Commercial Director, Robert Wicks.
Deputy Mayor of Split, Jure Sundov, shared Rangoonwala’s enthusiasm, insisting Powerboat P1 will compliment Split’s growing stature as “a unique destination for nautical tourism.”
Mr. Sundov said: “Bringing the Powerboat P1 World Championship to the city presents a truly exciting opportunity for Croatia to display the growing strength of the maritime industry in the Adriatic.”
Tomislav Blago Misetic, Local Promoter for the Croatian Grand Prix of the Sea, echoed Mr. Sundov’s sentiments, adding: “An event like the Powerboat P1 World Championship race in Split represents the future for Croatian tourism. It is the perfect way of promoting Split as one of the world’s top tourist destinations, especially as a nautical venue.
“Staging this event in April 2010 will contribute significantly to extending the tourist season in this region which is vital given the current economic climate.”
The ancient city of Split, which was founded as a Greek colony in the sixth Century BC, officially dates back over 1700 years to the building of the Diocletian’s Palace.
Today Split thrives on its developing tourism trade - 202,000 holidaymakers visited Split in 2009 - and its reputation as a hotbed of sporting talent.
Powerboat P1 becomes the latest international sporting event to be staged in Split following the 1979 Mediterranean Games, the 1990 European Athletics Championships and the 2009 World Men’s Handball Championship.
Having nurtured the talents of sixty-eight Olympic medalists, including 2008 women’s high-jump silver-medalist, Blanka Vlasic and 2004 rowers, Niksa Skelin and Sinisa Skelin as well as other notable champions, such as charismatic tennis hero, Goran Ivanisevic, Split recognises the best in sport, according to Mario Negotic, Head of Sport in the Mayor’s office.
Negotic said: “Staging the opening round of the 2010 Powerboat P1 World Championship, witnessing the world’s best pilots race off the Adriatic coastline at blistering speeds of 120mph, should attract thousands of people to watch the race and will showcase Split not only as a leading tourist destination but also as a city capable of hosting world class events.”