World’s elite powerboat drivers take to the Arade this weekend

Portimão is hosting the season opener of the prestigious UIM F1H2O World Championship, the world’s most important powerboat competition, this weekend (May 19-20).

The Grand Prix of Portugal will feature nine teams and 19 drivers from 12 countries, including many of the sport’s top drivers.

According to the official F1H20 website, “the team-driver line-ups for 2018 are almost unrecognisable after a prolific pre-season of cockpit reshuffles that began the moment the chequered flag dropped in Sharjah to close out 2017”.

Headlining the list of drivers is three-time world champion Philippe Chiappe, the Frenchman who was been crowned the winner in Portimão for the last two years and remains unbeaten in Portugal for the last three.

Portimão council points out that anyone can enjoy the show along the town’s riverside, as well as visit the paddock where each team’s box is set up.

Signing up is free and each visit is 20-minutes long and limited to 20 people.

Practices will begin on Friday between 5pm and 7pm, and continue on Saturday between 3pm and 5pm before the first stage of the F4 category race begins at 5.10pm, followed by the qualifiers for the F1 race.

On Sunday, practices will also occur between 3pm and 5pm before the second stage of the F4 begins at 5.10pm, followed by the F1 race at 6pm.

It will be the ninth time in 36 editions of the championship that the season’s opening event will be held in the Algarve.

Portimão is one of the sport’s most popular venues for teams and drivers. It hosted 13 successful Grand Prix from 1999 to 2011, and then finally returned to the Algarve in 2016.

The races are known for attracting thousands of people to the town’s riverside.

For more information about the competition, visit http://www.f1h2o.com