Thrills and spills

Just when you thought the high-octane action in Abu Dhabi had come to an end as the F1 circus rolled out of town…

Head to the corniche on 10th to 11th December and you will see another form of high speed thrills take over the capital.

This time there will be churned up water rather than burnt rubber as the UIM F1 H2O World Championship powerboat competition roars into life. The competition will see hopefuls from all over the globe hurtle through the water at top speeds in pursuit of glory. 

The event, which began in 1981, is returning to the capital for its 24th year after four previous Grand Prix events across the globe from France to China. The season of races will conclude in Sharjah on 17th and 18th December.

The rip-roaring event features sailors racing for the prize in 20ft tunnel hull catamarans, which are capable of accelerating from 0 to 160kmph in four seconds flat.

Boat pilots race laps around the circuit at a speed of 225 kmph for the duration of the 45-minute race. Circuits are usually 2,000 metres long, and drivers can experience in excess of four Gs on the turns.

Representing team Abu Dhabi will be Thani Al Qamzi, who has 15 seasons of racing under his belt, and Italian-born Alex Carella, who returns for his sixth speed around the circuit.

To get a piece of the action, head down to the breakwater near Marina Mall for the best view. On 10th December, you’ll get to see the qualifiers and practice runs ahead of the big event, from 3.30pm on 11th December.

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