The spectacle of powerboat racing is all set to take in Mumbai by storm with the launch of the Nexa P1 Powerboat, Indian Grand Prix of the Seas, scheduled to be held along the Marine Drive Mumbai from March 3-5.
The one of its kind initiative, promoted by Procam International under the aegis of Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) and P1 Global, will have seven teams (with two boats each) competing on a tailor-made 5.2 km course — something that is being done for the first time.
The fastest Indian men on land, APRC Champion and India’s best Cross Country Rally Driver, Gaurav Gill, and India’s most accomplished supercross & rally-raid champion C S Santosh, are experimenting a sea change in their life to be the fastest men on water too! Piloting powerboats in the NEXA P1 Powerboat, Indian Grand Prix of the Seas, the FMSCI Motorsports Person of the Year 2017 and the only Indian to have completed the Dakar Rally twice, look determined to extend their prowess to water during the weekend of March 3rd 2017 in Mumbai.
Gaurav and Santosh, who have been creating history over the last few years, have yet another chapter added to their biographies, as the first Indians to be piloting powerboats in the historical, inaugural Grand Prix of the Seas. After undergoing extensive training in Powerboat racing in the United Kingdom under seven-time World Champion and three-time World Speed Record Holder, Neil Holmes, the fastest Indian men on land are confident that the experience that they already possess combined with the new skills that they have acquired will make them strong competitors over the weekend.
The Nexa P1 Powerboat, Indian Grand Prix of the Seas, which will be conducted on the first-ever course on water, comparable to a racetrack, challenges status quo and combines the best in innovative technology and bespoke maritime strategy.
Talking about being the first Indian Pilot along with friend CS, Gaurav Gill said, “We are elated that Procam International and P1 Global are hosting the first Grand Prix of the Seas in our country and have created a global structure that is being seeded from Indian shores. We are even more delighted that the two of us have been chosen to champion Indian participation at this premier event. Rallying and Powerboat racing are both high-octane and highly skilled sports and I believe my experience with navigating in pressure situations will make me a strong contender on the weekend.”
C S Santosh too shares similar thoughts: “I have challenged myself in the toughest race on land, the Dakar Rally, and have now been training hard to test the challenges of the open seas. I am excited on being given the opportunity to demonstrate my abilities in speed in this new competitive powerboat racing series and look forward to the prospect of racing with highly experienced pilots. I am glad that I am being trusted with an engine, a steering wheel and an instruction that says “Go Fast”. Santosh is also eager to see how he would react to having someone else navigate for him, given the independent races he completes and wins.
Organisers believe that the inaugural Grand Prix can kick-start a water racing revolution in a country that has a vast coastline and have arranged various events on the side-lines of the races to involve the spectators and introduce them to the potential of water sports in the country.
♦ The race will see seven teams with two boats each competing over the weekend
♦ The races will be held on a specially-designed 5.2 km course. The first race on Saturday will be of 15 laps with two long laps and Sunday’s race will be over 20 laps with 3 long laps
♦ The organisers have roped in the world’s best pilots for the event with two from India