Croatia and its southern Adriatic city of Split were officially promoted at the World Trade Market in London on Tuesday as hosts of next year's offshore world racing series Powerboat P1.
Taking place in Split in April next year, the Croatian Grand Prix of the Sea will be the first of seven events on Powerboat P1’s World Championship calendar.
Powerboat P1 Chairman and CEO, Asif Rangoonwala is extremely confident that the world’s premier offshore racing series’ first trip to Croatia will be a huge success: "Croatia is one of the most dynamic countries in Eastern Europe.
“We have been looking for a home in the Adriatic for some time, and Croatia fitted the bill perfectly. I was extremely impressed by the country’s first class hospitality and Croatia has a fantastic history in sport and we wanted to be part of that.
“I was amazed by the public’s enthusiasm for Powerboat P1. They are knowledgeable people and are very welcoming so I’m already counting down the clock until April 16.
“Motorsport doesn’t have a large footprint in the Balkans and it is Powerboat P1’s intentions to raise the profile of Croatia as a world class sports host and as a popular tourist destination.”
Croatian Minister for Tourism Mr. Damir Bajs feels the inclusion of Powerboat P1 into Croatia's sporting roster will provide a huge boost to the country's tourism industry. He said: "April is the beginning of the tourist season in our country and this event will certainly increase the region’s popularity.
"Croatia is renowned for its professionalism, especially putting on events such as this, and I am sure everything will be organised to the highest standard.
“The Powerboat P1 World Championship will bring plenty of glamour to Split, something that this city is not renowned for, but we sincerely hope it will be in the future."
P1 Croatia licensee Tomislav Blago Misetic thanked Mr. Bajs and the Croatian Ministry of Tourism for all of its support. He said: "Everyone is excited about Powerboat P1 coming to Split. We saw the potential of the world championship two years ago and are delighted to be able to bring the world’s most glamorous nautical spectacle to Split in 2010.
"To have the backing of Mr. Bajs’ and Croatia’s Ministry of Tourism is fantastic and we are extremely happy with the way that things are evolving. It’s going to be one great big party!"