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UIM Gala Awards 2017 with The Prince Albert II of Monaco

UIM Gala Awards 2017 with The Prince Albert II of Monaco

Powerboating World Champions celebrated at Star-Studded UIM Awards giving gala

di Flavia Cruciani

MONACO – In the presence of HSH The Prince Albert II of Monaco, the 2016 achievements of the world’s leading powerboat racers were celebrated at the eighth Union International Motonautique (UIM) Word Champions Awards Giving Gala, staged at the iconic Sporting Monte-Carlo, Monaco and sponsored by China’s Bund Holding Group. More than 450 guests from sport, commerce, the boating industry and media gathered for the glittering annual showpiece which saw the 2016 UIM World Champions receive their winners’ trophies.

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THE AWARDS - Which were broadcast live on UIM TV and the Olympic Channel - were the first to be supported by the Shanghai-based Bund Holding who recently signed a collaboration agreement to continue their ongoing involvement and commitment to the world of international powerboat racing. Bund Holding President Mr Xin Chongjie and UIM President Dr Raffaele Chiulli welcomed HSH Prince Albert II at a pre-awards cocktail reception where he was given an introduction to the innovatory BUND Electric Integrated Propulsion System [EIPS] high performance marine racing engine – to be used in the 2018 UIM-H2O Nations Cup World Series – and the V20 solar boat for the 2017 Monaco Offshore Solar Race.

STATEMENTS - «The eighth edition of the UIM Awards Giving Ceremony and Gala Dinner also coincides with our 95th anniversary, which gives the event an extra special touch», said UIM President Dr Chiulli. «Special thanks go to HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, who regularly honours the UIM with His presence, and to all the World Champions and distinguished guests on this special occasion. In 2016 the UIM organised close to 150 titled events worldwide in the disciplines of Offshore, Circuit, Pleasure Navigation and Aquabike and it fills me with honour and pride to welcome the resulting World Champions to Monaco». He added: «This year’s edition also bears witness to our new partner China’s Bund».

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TECHNICAL INNOVATION - Holding Group who enjoyed a successful 2016 as local organisers of UIM Aquabike and Nations Cup Events in China and whose plans for the future are built on ground- breaking technical innovation with an immense potential to “green” our sport.” The “greening” of powerboat racing remains a key pillar of the UIM’s philosophy and Dr Chiulli announced the appointment of Marco Casiraghi as the UIM’s Green Energies Ambassador. In addition, the 2016 UIM Environmental Award went to Terra Modena Mechatronic Srl for their full electric engine for powerboat racing with Special Mentions for the environmentally-friendly XCat Grand Prix in Lugano, Mercury Racing for the 400S ROS Competition Outboard and Vripack for the V5 solar race boat.

SPORT FOR ALL AWARD - While the majority of the winners received world titles that have been contested for many years, the UIM used the occasion to introduce a number of new awards – among them the first “Sport For All Award”, the inaugural Hall of Fame (Italy’s Formula 1 legend Guido Cappellini) and the first ever Junior Driver & Driver of The Year awards which went to Stefan Arand and the late Massimo Rossi respectively. “It is indeed a great honour to be the first driver acknowledged by the UIM in this way,” said Cappellini, a ten-time winner of the UIM F1 World Championship and a key contributor to improving safety in powerboat racing throughout his whole career who flew in from Abu Dhabi to accept his award. «To receive the nomination for my work towards increasing safety measures in our sport means far more to me than receiving it for my ten world titles. Our sport’s history is full of wonderful competitors and achievements so to be honoured by the UIM in this way is without doubt one of the highlights of my career»· FIA President Jean Todt was also an award winner receiving the UIM Safety Award for his role in the FIA’s ‘Action for Road Safety’ campaign, which was accepted on his behalf by FIA Deputy President for Sport Graham Stoker.

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