H2O Racing has confirmed that the town of Cernobbio on the shores of the spectacular Lake Como (Lago di Como) will host the Italian Grand Prix, round 3 of the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, on 14-16 October.
The announcement is of particular significance for Class 1 promoter Nicolò di San Germano – whose F1H2O series raced on Lake Como 11 times between 1981 and 2006 – marking the first new venue to be brought into the Championship by H2O Racing and the first ever round of the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship to be staged on Lake Como.
“We are delighted to be taking our sport back to Lake Como and to Cernobbio with World Championship status,” he said. “It is very fitting for us to be racing in such a spectacular location and one that is entrenched with powerboat history and associated with racers of both the past and the future of racing.”
The first time a Class 1 fleet graced the waters of Lake Como was in October, 1987 when the late Bruno Abbate organised a special race which was won by Adriano Panatta – a first career powerboat victory for the former Italian tennis champion.
Lake Como is widely considered as the “living room of powerboating” both nationally and internationally, and the surrounding area is steeped with a great tradition of shipyards and boat builders, boasting many great ambassadors from all eras of the sport; Renato Molinari, 18 powerboat World titles (three in F1), Guido Cappellini (ten F1 World titles), the Abbate brothers, Bruno and Tullio and the late Stefano Casiraghi, who won the Class 1 World title in 1989.
The fight for this year’s World title now resumes in Cernobbio; defending World Champions Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi head the standings five points clear of their arch rivals, Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Steve Curtis, winners last time out in Arendal, Norway.
But the fight for the bragging rights to be the first Italian to win on home waters since Edoardo Polli and Lamberto Leoni took the chequered flag in Taranto in 1997, will be between Matteo Nicolini – currently third in the standings racing for the Spirit of Qatar camp and the last Italian to lift a major Class 1 title (European Championship in 2005) – local hero Guido Cappellini and Giampaolo Montavoci who lie fourth in the Championship in kim.com and Fendi Racing’s Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella – the last Italian to win a Class 1 Grand Prix (Uddevalla, Sweden 2010).