April 6, 2010

Powerboat P1 - 2010 Championship Cancelled


Like a storm in good weather I announce what appeared on the Powerboat P1 website the past Thursday 1st April titled Statement from the Chairman Asif Rangoonwala. In poor words this is a declaration from the Powerboat P1 boss that the 2010 championship concerning the Evolution and Supersport classes is cancelled for this year. This is sad news indeed, and also more to this an unexpected one.
Mr. Asif Ragoonwala cites in his statement the thirty million Euros he spent to make P1 a bigger sport since he acquired the championship in 2003, and the difficulty he has encountered to make it profitable. A mission which in this letter he admits to have failed, and saying that the P1 circus is actually unsustainable in its current business model. Without going into further detail the P1 chairman says that unlike other sports there is no revenue in P1 like ticketing and TV rights to make money from. He also says that the sponsoring interest to the sport is very limited.
Still after all what I have read in this Statement and on the other news section like the Offshore Only forum I am surprised by all this. Mostly because how things where being promoted on the P1 website like the great announcement of the first live television coverage promised for the final of the 2010 season in Syracuse Grand Prix on Eurosport, and the buying of the Formula Four rights now renamed as the new P1 Superstock championship.
While Mr.Asif deserves all power boater racers and fans admiration for what he has done to the sport in the last years to make it a World class competition, questions are left unanswered. Why make these announcements? Why do the much wanted but costly Eurosport move? I am sure that fans and participants seeing the recession of the recent period would have been just as happy with a 2009 format to pass this difficult economic time frame once again. Surely as a big follower to P1 I am the least to be angry, but I also think the competing teams deserve better respect to this. The teams who where preparing for the season challenges like Lucas Oil who bought a new boat the fall of 2009, or the Chaudron family who rumours is they are finishing a new Evolution boat, or the entry of the official Pantera racing squad with a newly 41 feet Supersport, and any other team who was going to participate to this year season etc etc. May be an announcement like this should have been made to the least at the end of 2009, not just a month before the races where supposed to start in Ukraine.