Venice Racing Team first to join new electric powerboat challenge

Following the RaceBird’s unveiling in Monaco last September and its first successful speed tests in Italy, the UIM E1 World Championship has announced the first team entry set to race in the inaugural season in 2023.

It was announced on Wednesday that the Venice Racing Team, which has been created specially to compete in E1, is the first to join the E1 Championship.

The new racing entity is the brainchild of entrepreneur Francesco Pannoli, who will run the operation, while the team is expected to announce their pilot line-up at the Salone Nautico in Venice next month.

According to a statement, the team was established to provide a platform for the many companies in Venice that share a common philosophy and commitment to building a sustainable future.

Known around the world as the ‘City of Water’, Venice is seeking to be an innovative leader in sustainability, while the Venice Racing Team aims to drive action to protect the city’s unique lagoon environment, residential ecosystem, and artistic heritage.

“I’m very proud to announce an Italian team as the first entry set to compete in our burgeoning global electric raceboat championship,” said Rodi Basso, Co-Founder and CEO of E1. “Having a team who represents the City of Venice is perfect for E1 and our shared vision of accelerating electric mobility in urban waters. Venice itself has a special connection to the water and is one of the most iconic cities to have an association with a racing team given its sustainability credentials and recognition as one of the eco-capitals of the world.”

The Venice RaceBird prototype, image supplied

Some of the founding members of the Venice Racing Team are also involved in a new start-up operated together with the city’s Chamber of Commerce, called E-Concept SRL. They have been tasked with developing new renewable energy projects, with a particular focus on promoting the electrification of marine mobility. From this initiative the E-Dock project was created to provide electric charging points for the busy waterways in Venice.

“This project is selecting new green technologies, which are key to the future of our planet and are common for many different industries and applications,” said Eugenio Razelli, CEO and  Chairman of Venice Racing Team.

E1’s Rodi Basso says they are currently speaking to dozens of other prospective teams across a broad spectrum of sports, from traditional powerboating, to sailing and the automotive world.

“We’re also progressing discussions with a number of brands, corporations and organisations seeking to compete as teams in the UIM E1 World Championship. I’m sure this is just the start of an exciting line-up of RaceBirds for our first racing season in 2023.”

The RaceBird uses innovative hydrofoil technology to rise above the water’s surface, allowing for minimum drag and maximum energy efficiency.

A model of the RaceBird was unveiled at the Monaco Yacht Club in September, where it was also revealed that the Principality will host a race in the inaugural season of the UIM E1 Series. The innovative championship will eventually be taken to 10 global race locations for a knock-out style race format involving short races close to shore.

The E1 raceboat series is the latest venture by Alejandro Agag, who is also behind the Formula E and the Extreme E series.


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