E1 pushes start of its inaugural electric boat racing series, but locks dates of first official event

After consistent updates pertaining to its growing lineup of team owners, but with multiple delays to the start to its inaugural season, the UIM E1 World Championship has set a date for its first official racing event. We are now 100 days out from the first-ever electric boat racing series, although the rest of the race calendar remains a tad less clear. Here’s the latest.

We are now more than a year removed from the World Port Days in Rotterdam, Netherlands, when the nascent E1 electric boat league inked a deal to race there in its first season before showcasing two races at that same event this past September.

Since then, the series which will eventually consist of 12 mixed-gender teams, has gained some hype by recruiting a slew of athletes and celebrities representing regions around the world. In addition to Team Venice – the first team originally announced, E1 has recruited Formula 1’s Sergio Perez; tennis great Rafael Nadal; legendary footballer Didier Drogba; the most decorated NFL player of all time, Tom Brady; and most recently superstar DJ Steve Aoki.

In early January, E1 CEO Rodi Basso shared that the league expects eight teams to compete in events during its inaugural season and teased that fans will see races in Europe and the Middle East in 2023.

By June, E1 shared its full race calendar, beginning in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – but the series had been delayed until January 2024. Today, we’ve learned that E1’s first official electric boat racing event has been delayed again, but have a more concrete date to the start, which will remain in Jeddah.

E1 racing event
The racing format of the UIM E1 World Championship / Credit: E1

E1’s first racing season to begin in early February 2024

This morning, E1 confirmed the first ever UIM World Championship will kick off its first race events in Jeddah on February 2-3, 2024. The E1 Jeddah GP will take place at the Jeddah Corniche close to shore on the Red Sea and will be made possible through a partnership with the Saudi Ministry of Sport and the Saudi Water Sports and Diving Federation. Per cofounder and CEO Rodi Basso:

We are thrilled to get the first dates in our fans’ calendars as the first-ever E1 Grand Prix is about to arrive. We know that audiences around the world will love our unique racing in stunning locations, as we make a positive impact on our race locations with our all-electric race fleet.

In addition to witnessing the inaugural electric boat racing event, fans in Saudi Arabia will be able to visit the first-ever “Acceleration Festival,” E1’s dedicated village for attendees offering variety of entertainment options and experiences.

During the event, each of the teams will choose two mandated mixed-gender pilots to share the racing duties outlined in the format above. The league now says not eight, but (up to) 10 teams will compete in the inaugural UIM E1 World Championship.

We’d assume the season schedule will slightly change now that the start in Jeddah was pushed a month, but E1 has yet to update it. Here’s what the previous timeline looked like:

  • January 2024 – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • February 2024 – TBD, Middle East
  • April 2024 – Venice, Italy
  • May 2024 – Venice, Italy
  • June 2024 – TBD, Europe
  • July 2024 – Monaco
  • September 2024 – Rotterdam, Netherlands

E1 states that ticketing details for the Jeddah event will be released shortly.

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