The countdown is underway to the first ever P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea, a two-day festival of marine motorsport on the River Clyde in June, and local businesses have been quick to sign up as sponsors and partners. Co-hosted by Riverside Inverclyde and Inverclyde Council, the two-day event will be the second round of the five-venue P1 UK race series and has attracted backing from a variety of local firms as well as national companies based in the area.
The first to come on board was the UK’s largest ferry network operator and one of the largest companies headquartered in Scotland, Caledonian MacBrayne. P1 Chief Operating Officer, Robert Wicks said: “CalMac has a long history of supporting community events and is the perfect partner to help us make a significant economic and social impact in the region through the continued development of Scottish marine tourism.”
The CalMac sponsorship has been followed by support from a number of local businesses:
• River Clyde Homes: A ‘not for profit’ social housing provider formed in 2007 that owns, manages and provides services to homes in the Inverclyde area.
• Ogilvie Homes: Part of the Ogilvie Group that has been steered by three generations of the Ogilvie family since 1953, Ogilvie Homes is a leading house builder with currently 10 developments in Scotland.
• WBI Group: Based in Greenock, WBI is a leading property, business development and investment group operating in the core commercial sectors of leisure, retail, industrial and office in the UK.
• Cardwell Garden Centre: The site of this family operated business on the banks of the Firth of Clyde at Gourock has developed over the last 35 years to become one of the largest and best garden centres in the UK.
• Greenock Chamber of Commerce: Has been championing Inverclyde businesses for more than 200 years, providing services to improve business representation, networking, knowledge, awareness and performance. GCC has formed key alliances with business leaders, trade associations, government agencies, enterprise bodies and other chambers to ensure representation for its members.
• James Watt Dock Marina: The host marina for the P1 race event, it started development in 2011 and now offers more than 100 berths within an historic dock setting. Spectators will have the opportunity to see the race boats being launched and prepared before they head to the race course along The Esplanade.
• Peel Port Clydeport: Part of the Peel Ports Group, Clydeport is the largest port on Scotland’s west coast. The natural deep-water port of Greenock offers a safe and convenient stopping point for cruise ships of all sizes, with no tidal or lock restrictions. The team at Clydeport have been instrumental in assisting with the race course planning and on-water permissions for the event.
“Partnerships are at the heart of the P1 business model” explained Wicks “and we are working with the sponsors and local businesses to attract visitors to the area, boost the economy and activate our race event to support Inverclyde’s successful reimaging and regeneration programme. Our aim is to maximise the benefits for each sponsor and, on a wider front, to build business in the area on the back of the Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea and raise the profile of Inverclyde at the other four events in our UK championship. As part of this programme, local racers Gordon Wicklow and Dino Zavaroni will be flying the flag for Inverclyde and Scotland in the P1 SuperStock powerboat series competing in the ‘Spirit of Inverclyde’ race boat (pictured above).”
The free-to-watch Greenock event will deliver a weekend of high-speed sport and family entertainment, with a fleet of P1 Panther race boats and around 40 jet skis competing in the P1 SuperStock and AquaX championships. The 2-mile race course will be close-to-shore at Greenock’s Esplanade, which will be transformed into the Inverclyde Showcase with exhibition stands and marquees showing off the best of the area’s tourism-related businesses. In addition to the 15,000 spectators that are expected on each day (June 18 & 19), the race action will be broadcast on Sky Sports and Motors TV in the UK and internationally to more than 400 million homes in over 100 countries.