PBR reports on the E1 Series as it unveils the first full-size model of the electric RaceBird powerboat to be raced within the world’s inaugural all-electric powerboat championship.
The RaceBird is a revolutionary new powerboat specially designed for foil-to-foil racing and is capable of reaching speeds of up to 50 knots, providing pilots with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills using tight and technical circuits located close to shore in the heart of urban areas. This new craft was unveiled at the Yacht Club de Monaco during a special presentation ceremony, where E1 Series co-founders Alejandro Agag and Rodi Basso were joined by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, the boat’s designer Sophi Horne (founder of SeaBird Technologies), Brunello Acampora (founder and CEO of Victory Marine) and Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) President Raffaele Chiulli to remove the covers from this eye-catching and exciting new vessel.
Only one year on from the series launch, the unveiling of the full-scale model marks a major milestone for the championship as the E1 Series moves closer to putting the RaceBird on the water and the start of prototype testing early next year.
Earlier this year, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) came on board as an investor in the E1 Series, and the partnership with the PIF represents a significant step forward in the long-term development of the series, while providing a strong foundation from which to accelerate the development of the RaceBird technology.
The UIM E1 World Electric Powerboat Series electric RaceBird powerboat ‘RB 01’ (Photo by Lloyd Images)
Alongside the presentation of the RaceBird boat in Monaco, the E1 Series also announced new partnerships with Mercury Racing as the Official Propulsion and Propeller Partner, Simrad as the Official Marine Electronics Partner and C-MAP as the Official Cartography Partner of the UIM E1 World Electric Powerboat Series.
Mercury Racing will work closely together with SeaBird Technologies and Victory Marine to provide their support in the development of the outboard motor for the RaceBird. Navico are coming on board as a partner to provide specialist navigation and marine electronics for all RaceBirds and support craft at race events, integrating Simrad’s latest technology into the cockpits and C-MAP’s digital cartography and mapping technology for teams and race management.
In the coming months, the RaceBird engineers will focus on the integration of the battery and control systems and how they work together with the power train, after which the engineers will incorporate the propulsion architecture into the platform ready to hit the water.
As well as providing an update on the technical road map for the RaceBird, the exciting news was also broken during the event that Monaco will host a race in the inaugural season of the new E1 Series, which is scheduled to start in early 2023. E1 Series organisers are in discussions with the relevant authorities in Monaco to finalise the course layout, with the pilots set to race using a circuit combining sections inside Port Hercule and outside the harbour walls along the Mediterranean shoreline.
The organisers are also in conversation with a number of candidate host cities around the world, with feasibility studies set to get underway soon in major European cities including Rotterdam and several sites in Hungary. Working together with the Port of Rotterdam, the championship is looking to incorporate the race event as part of the annual World Port Days festival, while in Hungary, E1 Series organisers are evaluating potential course locations, including a race on the Danube River in front of the Hungarian Parliament building.
As the event in Monaco drew to a close, and to crown the evening off in a right royal manner, the UIM – the world governing body for powerboating – delighted the audience by announcing that Prince Albert II of Monaco is to become its Honorary President. Quelle belle surprise!