Who knew that they hold Formula 1 H20 Powerboat racing on the Arade River in Portimao Portugal…we didn’t! This event is about 300 feet from our apartment, so off we trotted down to the river to the Rivoli ship restaurant where we sometimes go for a beer to watch the boats coming up the river in the evenings and watch the sun go down. The guy who owns this ship (I say ship because its bigger than a boat if you get my meaning) didn’t have a cover charge to come aboard to watch the race, so we had the best seats along the river with the power boats speeding past about 50 feet from the ship.
To say it was exciting was an understatement and this year even more exciting because for the first time in Power-boating history a woman had pole position!!! Marit Stomoy from Oslo in Norway and had beaten 16 male contenders from 12 different countries …Big shout out for Marit….this is a fantastic achievement as the women from Scandinavia have never qualified more than 6th place in the last 32 attempts… so we waited with anticipation for the race to start..lots of noise and lots of power and being a lover of speed myself I really loved it!
Here she is in her red and white power boat starting to go around the course just before the start of the race. We all waved from the boat, clapped and shouted encouragement. The next in line to her was Jay Price of the Qatar team who had two boats in the race, then came Abu Dhabi who also had two boats in the race. Its full on power when the race starts and it was amazing to see them all really going for it!
The first boat to go out of the race was one of the Abu Dhabi drivers, touching Marit’s boat and receiving a red card. They restarted the race after his boat was pulled in, with Marit still in first place and then catastrophe in spectacular style…Shaun Torrente a rookie drive for Team Sweden tried to overtake Marit and crashed into her…both boats went up into the air, flipped over and ended upside down in the water…everyone held their breath waiting to see if Marit and Torrente were OK!
Poor Marit…her hopes of winning the race blown out by a newbie!!!!…I am pretty sure the air was blue because we could see lots of arm waving, I know if it were me I would be really unhappy! Team Qatar went on to win the race….but really this was Marit’s race!! The next race will be held in Kazan, Tatarstan so if you get the chance to watch the racing go for it, its really exciting!
I shot a lot of photographs mainly of spray and water…I am totally useless with a camera so you will have to forgive. Here is the crash culprit Shaun Torrente, he received 2 yellow cards for that tactic. Lets hope he learns his lesson in the next race because otherwise this could get very expensive. All looks pretty good in this photograph but wait till you see the next…his boat is sunk, his helmet is being lazily dragged along beside it for all to see..everyone on the ship had a good laugh about that.
The last photo (not counting the spray) is of Team Qatar who were the winners of the race I believe both of their power boat racers came in first and second place. I actually missed the end of the race…sitting in the sun, drinking beer one tends to need to use the loo at the most inopportune moments and this was one of them, so off I trot down the stairs, past the kitchen and the restaurant, when I came back up it was all over.
Isn’t it funny that Portimao, Portugal can hold such big events and yet London, UK couldn’t manage to do the same thing, its pretty sad really when you think about it. Portugal definitely wants to market this event more because it really is a great day out especially if you are holidaying in Praia De Rocha and Portimao at this time of year!