VIDEO: Torrente, Anderson vie for world title as Sharjah clocks 20 glorious years - GulfToday

VIDEO: Torrente, Anderson vie for world title as Sharjah clocks 20 glorious years


Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Ali Salim Al Midfa, Nicolo di San Germano, Shaun Torrente, Jonas Anderssson, Sami Selio, Rashid Al Mulla and other drivers pose for picture after the press conference. Kamal Kassim / Gulf Today

Amir Naqvi, Sports Editor

In its almost four decades old history of the sport, the UIM F1H2O World Championship visited different countries across the globe and selected new venues to host the races whilst replacing a few but Sharjah remained as the perfect venue in the powerboat championship calendar for the last two decades.

In the last 20 years, the fate of champions were sealed at the season-ending Sharjah Grand Prix.

The storyline -- by way of as further cementing the emirate’s reputation -- remains the same as its remarkable venue, the iconic Khalid Lagoon, will again witness a battle between defending champion Shaun Torrent, who enters the final round holding a five-point lead, and Jonas Andersson for the World Drivers Championship.

The Sharjah World Championship, which comprises the UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix and the Sharjah Grand Prix, will be held from Dec.17-Dec.21.

The Sharjah Grand Prix was launched by Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) in the presence of Ali Salim Al Midfa, Chairman of Board of Directors Sharjah International Marine Sports Club (SIMSC), and Nicolo di San Germano, Founder, H2O Racing, the promoters of the world championship.

There have been five different winners in the last five years and both Torrente and Andersson have a history of great results in Sharjah, Torrente finishing on the podium in four of the last five years, while Andersson has finished runner-up in the last two races on the lagoon.

Team Abu Dhabi’s Torrente, who leads the standings with 64 points, is followed closely by Jonas Andersson of Team Sweden.

The Swede is sitting on 59 points. With 20 points on offer, Andersson could upset the Torrente’s apple cart.

Oozing confidence, Torrente shrugs off the pressure.

“One of my main dreams was achieved when I won the F1 World Championship here last year. So from now on, whatever happens, that will all be about creating and leaving behind a legacy,” said the US driver.

Playing down any pressure, the Swede is no mood to give up easily.

“I have nothing to lose as I am already assured of the runners-up spot this season. But I have a great feeling going into this race as Sharjah is where I got my first podium and this can be a very good race,” Andersson said.

Besides Andersson, Emirates Racing’s Marit Stromoy is also in the chasing pack on 37 points.

Stromoy, who made history in Sharjah in 2015 by winning the Grand Prix, has so far three top five finishes and was on the podium in China.

“It’s important for me to keep my third position. And for this, I will need to go fast and see what can happen at the end of the race,” Stromoy said.

Team Abu Dhabi is comfortably out in front in the Teams Championship also, as Torrente is in a commanding position to retain the team title with Thani Al Qemzi. Abu Dhabi on 91 points while Team Sweden has 69.

The Sharjah Grand Prix will start at the Khalid Lagoon with the official practice from 10.15am on Thursday followed by the Rebellion Official Qualifying at 3.30pm. There will be a second practice session on Saturday morning followed by the UIM F1H2O Grand Prix of Sharjah at 4pm.


1. Shaun Torrente (Team Abu Dhabi) 64 pts

2 Jonas Andersson (Team Sweden) 59

3 Marit Stromoy (Emirates Racing Team) 37

4 Thani Al Qamzi (Team Abu Dhabi) 27

5 Alex Carella (Maverick F1 Racing) 25

6 Peter Morin (CTIC F1 Shenzhen) 23.

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