Prestigious Sharjah World Championship Week makes splash at picturesque Khalid Lagoon - GulfToday

Prestigious Sharjah World Championship Week makes splash at picturesque Khalid Lagoon


Khaled Jasim Al Midfa, Humaid Khalfan, Nicolo Di San, Jonas Andersson, Ferdinand Zandbergen and other officials pose for a photo after the press conference.

Gulf Today, Sports Reporter

The Sharjah World Championship Week — Road to Sharjah-Grand Prix of Sharjah on Khalid Lagoon — will decide the outcome of the Teams’ Championship and Fast Lap and Pole Position trophies after Team Sweden’s Jonas Andersson clinched his second world title in Sardinia in September with a round to spare.

Taking place under the patronage of Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council, the Sharjah World Championship Week kicked off on Friday at the emirate’s picturesque Khalid Lagoon.


This year’s UIM F1H2O World Championship has been fought out over four rounds so far and the Sharjah finale will draw the curtain on an enthralling season, which has seen 10 teams and 22 different drivers in action at spectacular Grand Prix in Indonesia, China, France and Italy.


The details of the four-day long Sharjah World Championship Week were disclosed in a press conference held on Thursday in the presence of Khaled Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA); Humaid Khalfan Al Kindi, a Board Member of Sharjah International Marine Sports Club; Nicolo Di San Germano, UIM F1 H2O founder; two-time World Champion Jonas Andersson; the Sharjah Team’s Ferdinand Zandbergen and Emirati drivers, Rashed Al-Qemzi, Thani Al-Qamzi and Ahmad Al Fahim.

SharjahBoat The UAE boasts 3 out of 10 competing teams, including the Abu Dhabi Team, Sharjah Team and Victory Team at the championship.  


Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, stated that Sharjah has been bringing together world champions and marine sport enthusiasts for 22 years in one place, which translates the vision and directives of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to boost the emirate's global tourism appeal.

“According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), sports tourism is a fundamental pillar as it is one of the fastest-growing sectors in tourism, accounting for about 10% of global tourism spending, with a projected growth rate of 17.5 per cent between 2023-2030. Therefore, this championship represents a great opportunity for Sharjah to strengthen its global reputation as a distinctive destination, hosting major events throughout the year, promoting the emirate's attractiveness and capabilities that support various vital sectors and the national economy,” he added.

Kindi said: "Organising this international event alongside our strategic partner, SCDTA, aligns with the emirate's successful and ongoing efforts to develop Sharjah as a preferred global destination for tourism and sports. At the same time, this event aims to encourage more Emirati and Arab youth to invest their potential in marine sports and achieve excellence in this field.”

H2O Racing’s founder expressed his deep admiration for the massive advancement Sharjah has achieved in its overall quality hosting this championship for 22 years, and thanked the Ruler of Sharjah for ensuring that the utmost care was taken to design a befitting championship finale.

“Under the leadership of Khalid (Jasim Al-Midfa) we have been here for many years. Back in 2000, for example, the race was on Khalid Lagoon but the surrounding landscape was very different. We are proud to be witnesses to the unbelievable growth of Sharjah and also the growth of F1H2O racing. Thirty years of racing in the UAE, 299 F1H2O Grand Prix organised and 50 of them in the UAE. That shows the importance of the UAE to the UIM.

“I want to congratulate my friend Khalid for his very recent appointment to the board of the international federation. It is well deserved. The UAE is an important strategic partner for powerboating all over the world.  We expect a lot of delegates to visit the race this weekend from Indonesia, Vietnam, Albania and from Egypt. I always say, year-on-year, that Sharjah is the university for F1H2O racing organisers.

Germano added: “The UAE is a strategic partner for major global tournaments, especially marine sports. Sharjah has become a destination for champions and serves as a leader in accelerating the pace of the championship's success, year after year. Furthermore, the outcome of our partnership with Sharjah has yielded extremely positive environmental results too. We are working together on initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and make marine sports more sustainable.”

The final rounds of the Sharjah Grand Prix set to take place Saturday and Sunday will witness an exhilarating contest between elite world-class drivers.

The UAE boasts 3 out of 10 competing teams, including the Abu Dhabi Team, comprising American Sean Torrente (Boat 1), Emirati Thani (Boat 2), and Rashid (Boat 5). Dutchman Ferdinand Zandbergen (Boat 12) and Finn Sami Selio Boat 11) represent the Sharjah Team. The Victory Team consists of Emirati Fahim (Boat 3) and Swedish Eric Stark (Boat 4).

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