I had the opportunity of having a telephone interview this morning with Mr Li Haojie, Chairman of Tian Rong Sports, the company that are overseeing the return of F1H2o to London next month.
The interview was conducted through a translator who outlined to me why a Chinese sports promoter would want to work on an event in London, the answer is an historical link.
In 1872, the China Navigation Company was formed to provide a trade shipping route from Shanghai to the Royal Victoria Dock in London.
The Dock will of course host the London event in June and to complete the circle, the other end of that historic trading route, Shanghai, is the proposed venue for the F1H2o Grand Prix of China in October.
Since Powerboat Racing World broke the news on Tuesday that the event would be only available to paying spectators, (tickets available through Ticketmaster), I asked Mr Li Haojie if there were any free spectating opportunities available.
He said that it was strongly not advised, and security will be very tight around the dock area.
There will be 2000 ticketed seats in the grandstand area and Mr Li Haojie encouraged everyone to come along and support the sport and this ambitious project.
The event has been a huge undertaking, and with Britain’s onerous Health and Safety procedures, far more complex to organise than other F1H2o venues around the world.
However, Mr Li Haojie is optimistic of success and has agreements in place to make London an annual fixture on the powerboat racing calendar.
Saturday 16 June
09.00 – 10.20 F4 Free Practice
09.30 – 09.50 F4 Timed Trials
10.15 – 11.15 F1H2O Free Practice
14.30 – 14.50 F4 RACE 1 (duration 20 minutes)
15.30 – 16.30 F1H2O BRM Qualifications
Sunday 17 June
09.10 – 09.30 F4 Free Practice
09.40 – 10.00 F4 Timed Trials
10.15 – 11.15 F1H2O Warm up
13.30 – 13.50 F4 RACE 2 (duration 20 minutes)
15.45 – Parade Lap
15.00 – 15.45 F1H2O Grand Prix
16.00 Prize-Giving Ceremony
(All times GMT +1)
Photo: Mr Li Haojie with Philippe Chiappe and Marit Strømøy in London recently