Royal seal of approval for powerboating's best at UIM Awards Giving Gala
Monday, March 25, 2019 7:03 PM
In the presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco, 60 World Champions and Special Awards winners from the world of powerboat racing were honoured on Saturday 23rd March at a star-studded celebration to mark the 10th edition of the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) Awards Giving Gala in Monaco.
As well as H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco, also in attendance were H.H Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan – who received the Stefano Casiraghi Memorial Trophy for services to the powerboating sport – Olympic gymnastics legend Nadia Comaneci, double Olympic volleyball gold medallist Yumilka Ruiz and UN Ambassador for Sport and Kenyan running legend Tegla Laroupe.
More than 400 competitors and VIP guests from the world of sport, boating, business, NGOs and media gathered for an occasion that culminated in the crowning of Shaun Torrente of Team Abu Dhabi and Estonia’s Stefan Arand as UIM Driver and Junior Driver of the Year respectively. Co-sponsored by Tianrong Sports – the Shenzhen-based promoter of
the UIM F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of China – and H2O Racing, the all-star affair was a fitting celebration of the individuals and teams who dominated the sport of powerboat racing in 2018.
“On behalf of the UIM, we were honoured to be joined by H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco for what is the most prestigious date on our annual calendar,” said UIM President Dr. Raffaele Chiulli.
“As well as recognising the achievements of our World Champions and Special Awards winners, His presence has also ensured we have enjoyed a memorable occasion to mark a decade of the UIM Awards Giving Gala and we thank Him for His ongoing invaluable support of powerboat racing.
”From left to right: Mrs. Tegla Loroupe, Kenyan long-distance track and road runner & Global spokeswoman for peace, women's rights and education and Mrs. Nadia Comaneci, 5 time Olympic Gold medallist gymnast From left to right: Giacomo Borgonovi, Chairman of UIM Formula Committee, Edgaras Riabko and Rashed Al Qemzi , 2018 UIM Formula 2 World Championship Bronze and silver medalists,, Alberto Comparato, 2018 UIM Formula 2 World Champion. Shaun Torrente ( Team Abu Dhabi) 2018 UIM Formula 1 and XCAT World Champion and 2018 UIM Driver of the Year.
Among the competitors to be honoured were those racing in Circuit, Pleasure Navigation, Aquabike, Offshore, MotoSurf and Formula Future. In addition to the racing trophies, there were also Awards and Special Mentions presented for those contributing to environmental sustainability in powerboat racing and yachting.
The UIM Environmental Award was presented by H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco and Dr. Chiulli to the Yacht Club de Monaco in recognition of the ground-breaking and educational Monaco Solar and Energy Boat Challenge, which is now an annual event in the Principality. Other Special Mentions in the category went to Jaguar Vector Racing, Silent Yachts and XShore.
Aside from the Awards, the UIM also took the opportunity to update the media on its ongoing relationship with UNESCO in the development of a toolkit along the lines of the Kazan Action Plan, while plans were also unveiled for the forthcoming first round of the 2019 UIM MotoSurf World Cup to be staged in Abu Dhabi early April.