Vijayawada, 16 Nov 2018: The Grand Prix of India, the much-touted Amaravati F1h2o Powerboat Racing International sporting event, the fifth round of the UIM World Champioinship was inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu (@ncbn) here on Friday on the banks of River Krishna adjacent to Bhavani Island, one of the largest River Islands in the world.
It was a glittering ceremony that displayed the sytle and taste of Naidu, but without the usual fanfare and colour. A little away at the ghats where entry was free hundreds of spectators witnessed high-speed powerboats, perhaps first time in their lives. A political journalist said: “I am witnessing such international sporting event for the first time, I have never seen these high speed machines in my life.” The Press box was crowded with over 100 people many of them vendours and event managers but with a valid pass. It was unfortunate that the rains dampened the spirits and the VIP and other galleries looked empty. However, Naidu was enthusiastic and said that he was happy to see such a festival, an international sporting extravaganza in Amaravati Capital Region and promised that he would try to conduct such big events every year. Later, Nara Lokesh had a spin in the powerboat to experience the thrill and fun of high-speed racing.
It was reported that the event organised by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Authority along with Mahalaxmi and event managers has spent Rs 13 crore (INR 130 million) . The touris Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya enthusiastically tweeted and thanked the CM for such a wonderful opportunity. She feels that the revenue generated through teams, crews and tourists who descended on the Temple City will generate double the revenues.
Team Amaravati representing India will have two foreign drivers in the Red and Yellow outfits and are expected to do well at the home race. Free Extra Practice was held for over an hour after the inauguration that provided glimpses of high-speed action that such giants at 10,000 hp can provide.
With H2O Racing doing promotion and media activities, racing extravaganza is expected to be be watched by over 50 crore people worldwide. Affiliated National Federations from 59 countries are members of UIM, the International Sporting Federation that is the governing body for all powerboat racing activities.
The first four rounds were held at Portugal, London, France and Xiangyang and the competition has come to the competitive second phase with only three more rounds to go and Abu Dhabi is leading the championship.