Cowes to Host British Grand Prix - KBL at the Helm of Cowes Classic!

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KBL Powerboat Management Ltd, rights holder and promoter of the UIM Powerboat P1 World Championship, is to take over the running of the Cowes Classic, one of the worldÂ?s premier festivals of offshore racing.

It is today confirmed that KBL Powerboat Management Ltd, rights holder and promoter of the U.I.M. Powerboat P1 World Championship, is to take over the running of the Cowes Classic, one of the world’s premier festivals of offshore racing. In its deal with the British Powerboat Racing Club, KBL will be responsible for the long term development of the festival, a major component of which is to establish the Cowes Classic as the new British home of the U.I.M. Powerboat P1 World Championship.

The Cowes Classic, established in 1961, brings together powerboats and their crews from across the globe for five days of spectacular and highly competitive racing. The 2005 festival will commence on Thursday 25th August and include a series of national and championship rounds along with the British Grand Prix, comprising two rounds of the Powerboat P1 World Championship. With more than 70 boats expected, the festival’s new promoter intends to work closely with the Isle of Wight Council, local business and the UK tourism industry to create an international spectacle with worldwide appeal.

Powerboat P1 is the success story of performance boat racing with its international flavour, competitor numbers and marine industry backing increasing year-on-year. In 2005 the Championship comprises seven events in six European countries and at least 20 high-performance craft are expected to compete in the UK leg of the World Championship.

Nathan Knight, CEO, KBL Powerboat Management Ltd:

"The Cowes Classic is steeped in racing history and we are excited by the prospect of combining the P1 World Championship with such a prestigious event. We now have the ingredients to make this classic meeting the industry show-piece and a real celebration of marine motorsport. Our objective is to create a festival of performance racing that the public can relate to in much the same way that they do with the Grand National at Aintree or the British Grand Prix at Silverstone."

"We shall bring together all interested parties to revitalise and build the Cowes Classic into a premier international performance boating festival with entertainment on and off the water. Powerboat P1 will be the catalyst as we look to create an environment that maximises appeal for teams and spectators. These are very exciting developments for the marine industry and for British motorsport."

Lord Beaverbrook, Chairman, British Powerboat Racing Club:

"The Cowes Classic is one of Britain’s great endurance challenges for competitors and the marine industry, where boat design, engineering excellence, navigational skills and seamanship are all put to the test under race conditions. KBL has proven expertise in the organisation and promotion of international events and this deal will provide the Cowes Classic with new impetus and secure a long-term future for the event."

"The BPRC is passionate about Cowes, its traditions and rich heritage and we are very pleased to have taken this step and introduced professional management to this classic meeting. We believe that KBL’s plans to develop the Cowes Classic present it with an exciting future."

Cllr Shirley Smart, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council:

"The Isle of Wight has played host to the Cowes Classic for many years and we enthusiastically welcome this initiative. As one of the UK’s top holiday destinations we are continually looking to add new experiences to the wide variety of activities and sights that are available for the enjoyment of our visitors."

"Including the Powerboat P1 World Championship within the Cowes Classic will also bring the Island worldwide media exposure and a significant boost to our tourism industry. KBL plan to create a spectacular show that can be enjoyed by everyone and we fully support this and will be working closely with them as they look to establish the Cowes Classic as a recognised international motorsport festival."

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Martin Allerton