For the Tenth consecutive year, the world’s best powerboat racers joined forces for the UIM’s biggest night of the year when the Union Internationale Motonautique World Champions & Awards Giving Gala was held at the Sporting Monte-Carlo on Saturday evening.
Amongst those sixty-five World Champions in attendance were the top three UIM F2 World Championship racers Alberto Comparato, Rashed Al-Qemzi and Edgaras Riabko who were collecting their 2018 honours.
Their awards were handed out in the presence of Albert II Prince of Monaco, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and Chairman of the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club and UIM President Dr. Raffaele Chiulli.
Alberto Comparato told me in Monaco:
It’s always an amazing feeling to collect awards.
It means that you have achieved your goal.
This is not only for me but also for my father Fabio; it’s a result of all the work that he did to help me find the perfect balance of the boat.
Yes, last winter we tested everyday possible.
Sometimes I would put in a 100 laps in a day.
We know how to achieve results, so we will continue with that method to help our new driver Brent Dillard achieve his goal.
Making his first ever visit to the tiny Principality of Monaco on France’s Mediterranean coastline was the Lithuanian racer Edgars Riabko.
He was there to collect his Bronze medal for finishing in third place and he said:
Wow, what an evening, is all I can say, as not only a racer but also an event organiser I know first hand how much effort it takes to make things like this happen.
The UIM have done an amazing job and I would like to thank them for making it such a successful occasion. Next year I hope to come back as World Champion.
It will be tough for sure and I think an Abu Dhabi driver will be the one we need to watch out for.
Finishing the season just two points ahead of Riabko was that Team Abu Dhabi racer Rashed Al Qemzi and it certainly was an evening full of mixed emotions for the young Emirati:
It’s true I’m disappointed with my performance last year.
We have seen tonight the high standard set by Team Abu Dhabi.
For the 2019 season I must be stronger, if I don’t start ‘kicking butt’ then perhaps Guido Cappellini, my Team Principal will be kicking mine.
The 2019 UIM F2 World Championship season is certainly gearing up to be one not to be missed.
Chris Davies ARPS, has been photographing and writing about powerboat racing since 1987.