A team from Portimão’s Clube Naval represented Portugal at the weekend’s UIM Formula Future World and Continental Championships in St Helens in the UK.
Junior power boat racers from across the globe battled it out for a place on the podium at the event which was held in the UK for the first time ever.
In the presence of official sponsors Powerboat P1, who themselves have raced in the Algarve in recent years, the young Portimão hopefuls were among some 80 competitors aged eight to 18 years from as far afield as title holders Russia, Malaysia, the Czech Republic and Germany.
By Sunday, evening the German team was crowned champion of champions, taking first place in both the Continental and World competitions as well as being presented with the Ralph Froeling Challenge Cup ,while Britain’s Jordan Muckles dominated in the induvidual Class 4 manoeuvring and slalom categories.
But Portimão too had reasons to celebrate. At European level, João Nobre was victorious in the Formula Future Continental Manoeuvring Class 4 event, Leandro Guerreiro claimed silver in the Class 5 equivalent as well as third place in the Class 5 individual race, and Sebastião Rodrigues took bronze in the Class 5 Parallel Slalom before shining brightly on the world stage. Competing against the best in his age group, Rodrigues saw off German and Russian competition to lift gold in the Formula Future World Individual Class 5, having earlier taken silver behind each of those same rivals in both the Class 5 World Manoeuvring and Slalom events.
At the awards ceremony, Powerboat P1 Chairman Asif Rangoonwala summed up the weekend: “These children are the future of the sport and have shown huge motivation throughout the competition. The event has been a huge achievement for everybody involved and Powerboat P1 is delighted to be able to support the series and promote the grassroots development of our sport.”
With Portimão already firmly established as a F1 and P1 world venue, the young home team’s great showing in England can only have further enhanced the River Arade’s reputation as a top water sports destination.