In a press release, E1’s organizers said they’ll be using the vessel as a “floating paddock.” Teams will have two RaceBirds — one based in Europe, and the other on the competition’s roaming headquarters — so they can effectively compete in races that are located near cities and the same “stunning remote locations” used by Extreme E. It’s not clear if the aquatic competition will be ready by January 23rd, though — the first scheduled Extreme E event, which is meant to take place in Lac Rose, Senegal.
The aquatic motorsport is being co-developed by SailGP, a league dedicated to sailboat racing. It’s also been approved by the UIM, the international governing body of powerboating. Pilots will need to be fast, according to E1, but also strategic. Unlimited charging will be allowed during testing and qualifying, however teams will be restricted to a finite amount during the knockout stages. That could make the sport more exciting and, like Extreme E, also help to highlight environmental issues. “We believe this series will engage not only the sporting public, and boating and tech enthusiasts around the world, but also ocean conservationists who care about the future of our planet,” Agag said.
The founder of Formula E and Extreme E is a busy man, so he’ll only be a non-executive chairman for E1. The CEO role will instead fall to Rodi Basso, a former aerospace engineer who has worked with NASA, Ferrari and Red Bull in Formula 1, as well as Magneti Marelli and McLaren Applied Technologies. Basso and Egag came up with the concept in London during the lockdown. “The sea for me is something very important as an expression of nature and somewhere I always go to re-charge my batteries, so this project is the perfect way to celebrate that,” Basso explained.
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