The promoters of the Union Internationale Motonautique F1H2O World Championship have been working around the clock in preparation for this week’s two Grand Prix events in Portugal, which were announced less than two weeks ago. With teams starting to arrive today, the races are taking place in Figueira da Foz, the famous summer resort in the central region of Portugal on the banks of Rio Mondego.
Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al Qemzi is the F1H2O points leader heading into this week’s two Grand Prix races in Portugal. Photo courtesy Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club
Testing and qualification for the first race starts Thursday (Nov. 25), followed by Grand Prix action on Friday. The race teams will do it over again with testing and qualifying on Saturday followed by race number two on Sunday.
Two-time defending F1H2O world champion Shaun Torrente of Team Abu Dhabi made the trip from Florida to Abu Dhabi last week to get ready for the final two races of the season. He currently sits in second place in the points standings as he finished behind his teammate, Thani Al Qemzi, at the Grand Prix of Europe in San Nazzaro, Italy, in September.
The F1 H2O organization is excited to return to Portugal, a country which has hosted 17 Grand Prix races in the past—16 in Portimao and 1 in Porto.
Although the pandemic-created abbreviated 2021 F1H2O season included a race in Sharjah, UAE, (December 13-18) that is no longer on the schedule, Torrente said the teams, organizers and local government agencies are grateful to be back in action with a couple of races in Portugal. In fact, the management thanked the UIM, Federacao Portuguesa de Motonautica, Mr. Pedro Santana Lopes, Mayor of Figueira da Foz, and all F1 teams for their extra efforts in making the event possible.