KUWAIT: Officials take part in a press conference yesterday to announce the UIM-AUP Aquabike World Championship Kuwait Grand Prix. – Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: Over 60 participants from 27 countries will take part in the UIM-AUP Aquabike World Championship Kuwait Grand Prix, which will be held at the Marina Crescent from Nov 11 to 13, 2021. The event also includes side activities and entertainment. The opening ceremony for the public will be at 5:30 pm today with fireworks, laser show, flyboards and freestyle show by the riders.

Dr Saqer Al-Mulla, Deputy Director General for Competitive Sports, said this championship is an international event and Kuwait is pleased to host it. “We are glad that interest in this sport is growing. This is the second time Kuwait is hosting this championship. The Public Authority for Sport is always supportive of all kinds of sporting events. We are happy and welcome all these champions to Kuwait. We wish them success,” he pointed out.

Lavinia Cavallero, Vice President H2O Racing, noted that this is the first time a race is being held outside Europe after the pandemic. “After the race on Saturday, the new world champion 2020/2021 will be announced, as this will be the final stage of the championship”. Mohammad Al-Zanki, President of Water Sports Club, said seven Kuwaitis are participating in this year’s championship along with participants from 27 countries.

Raimondo Di San Germano, GM, H2O Racing, praised the great organization of this event, expressing his satisfaction over the previous race held in Kuwait, expecting to witness a thrilling contest. Marco Pietrini, Aquabike Race Director, spoke about the details of the race. “On Thursday (today), participants will test the circuit and warm up with their aquabikes in the free practice hours of the morning and get ready for this contest. This will be the qualification session that will define the order of the start time for the first race,” he said.

“Races will start on Friday morning and continue on Saturday, where riders will get points. There will be two sessions – one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The schedules are on the website. The activities will start on Friday at 10:30 am till 12:30 pm, then again from 2:00 pm until 4:30 pm,” Pietrini added.

In the following two days, riders will compete in races called motos. “The motos will give points to the riders that will be valid for the grand prix and for the aquabike world championship. The riders will be divided into two groups. The fastest rider at the end of the race will be the winner of the grand prix”.

Pietrini also explained the slaloms, flags and other information about the race. “The race will be monitored from land and water by referees and judges to ensure the safety of riders, which is our priority, and respect for the rules of UIM. Freestyle riders will be given points by the judges according to UIM rules,” concluded Pietrini.