Monaco Life was there for the exclusive unveiling of the first full size model of the electric RaceBird powerboat that will form the basis of a new E1 championship, to be hosted in Monaco and other locations worldwide.
Just one year after the series launch in Monaco, E1 hosted an exclusive event at the Yacht Club of Monaco on Monday night, where E1 Series Co-Founders Alejandro Agag and Rodi Basso were joined by Prince Albert II of Monaco, the boat’s designer Sophi Horne, Founder and CEO of Victory Marine Brunello Acampora, and UIM President Raffaele Chiulli to remove the covers from the revolutionary new vessel.
The unveiling of the full-scale model marks a major milestone for the championship as the E1 Series moves closer to putting the RaceBird on the water and the start of prototype testing early next year.
“Seeing the full-size boat like this for the first time, it’s starting to feel like the E1 Series is coming to life,” said Alejandro Agag, Co-Founder and Chairman of the E1 Series. “We revealed the digital designs ahead of World Oceans Day in June earlier this year, but to see the physical model is a massive step forward in terms of our preparations and it shows the fans what to expect when we start racing in early 2023.”
The E1 raceboat series is the latest venture for the Spanish businessman, who is also behind the Formula E and the Extreme E series.
Also backing the E1 Series is the UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique), the world governing body for powerboating headquartered in Monaco, which took the opportunity on Monday to announce that Prince Albert is to become the UIM’s Honorary President.
“With this new boat, we’re all one big step closer to the realisation of a very ambitious and vitally-important vision,” said UIM President Raffaele Chiulli. “Very ambitious because E1 is entering new territory with this first electric-propulsion powerboat racing series, and vitally important because of the role E1 will play not just in raising awareness of the climate crisis but also in leading the delivery of solutions.”
The RaceBird will use innovative hydrofoil technology to rise above the water’s surface, allowing for minimum drag and maximum energy efficiency. In the coming months, the RaceBird engineers will focus on the integration of the battery and controls systems and how they work together with the powertrain, then they’ll incorporate the propulsion architecture to the platform ready to hit the water.
Afterwards, Victory Marine will manufacture a full fleet of race-ready electric powerboats for a 2023 race schedule.
“In a time of giant technological changes, Victory Marine has accepted with enthusiasm this incredible opportunity to change the face of powerboating forever,” said Brunello Acampora, Founder and CEO of Victory Marine. “I’ve personally selected the best experts to support myself and Victory Marine in turning Sophi Horne’s and SeaBird’s vision into an electric racer. I’m also looking forward to transferring this technology to a new breed of consumer leisure craft.”
Sophi Horne, Founder of SeaBird Technologies, added: “I remember I used to spend a lot of time here in Monaco for my previous job and seeing presentations of different boats and my boss would tell me: ‘you will be doing this one day’, and I never believed it. Now we’re here presenting the RaceBird and it’s a bit emotional actually seeing my design… the final full-size model you see today really meets my expectations and looks really cool in the flesh.”
As well as providing an update on the technical roadmap for the RaceBird powerboat, it was also confirmed that Monaco will host a race in the inaugural season of the E1 Series, which is scheduled to start in early 2023.
The E1 Series will eventually be taken to 10 global race locations for a knockout-style race format involving short races close to shore.
Top photo left to right: Alejandro Agag, UIM President Raffaele Chiulli, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Designer Sophia Horne, Founder & CEO of Victory Marine Brunello Acampora, and Rodi Basso attend the unveiling of the UIM E1 World Electric Powerboat Series ‘RaceBird’ prototype – the world’s first electric powerboat series, at Yacht Club de Monaco on September 20, 2021 in Monaco. Photo by Lloyd Images/Getty Images.