Marine motorsport fans across Scotland are in for another dose of high-speed powerboat action next summer after it was announced that the P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea will return to Greenock in 2017.
Following a successful 2016 debut, organisers P1 today confirmed that the event will be back in Inverclyde for a second time on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June, 2017.
More than 30,000 spectators enjoyed the first Scottish event in June this year and co-hosts and lead partners Inverclyde Council and Riverside Inverclyde have given P1 the green light to start planning next year’s spectacle.
With swathes of visitors heading to Greenock for two days of outstanding racing on the Clyde, generating an overall event impact of £2.3m, the free-to-watch event reinforced Inverclyde’s status as the marine leisure capital of Scotland. A successful addition to the event was the Inverclyde Showcase, where visitors experienced over 30 of the area’s best tourism-related businesses on the town’s Esplanade, including leisure activities, visitor attractions, food and drink, and accommodation providers, and the introduction of the Spirit of Inverclyde race boat with her local crew – Scotland’s first ever P1 SuperStock racing team.
As well as delivering the on-water action and associated local benefits, organisers emphasised the importance of corporate partnerships throughout the process, working with sponsors and local businesses to maximise the impact of the event and support Inverclyde’s successful reimaging and regeneration programme. Demonstrating the important role of sports tourism in the area, partnerships were secured with major companies, including Caledonian MacBrayne, Ogilvie Homes, WBI Group and James Watt Dock Marina, and such relationships will be just as important for organisers as they look towards next year’s event.
Commenting on the announcement of the 2017 event and the success of the inaugural P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea, Robert Wicks, P1 Chief Operating Officer, said: “When we put on these events, it’s about much more than just a single weekend of racing. As well as entertaining spectators we want to help our partners achieve their business objectives and, despite some testing weather on the second day, we’re really pleased with the results from the first ever Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea.
“Highlighted by the strong footfall numbers and event impact figures, the event was a great example of successful collaboration between organisers, partners, sponsors and the local community to achieve relevant benefits.”
Wicks added: “There is so much potential for the marine leisure industry in Inverclyde and hopefully other event organisers and businesses across the UK will see the event’s success and the possibilities within the area. We experienced just what Greenock, and the wider region, has to offer and now that next year’s event has been approved we can get preparations under way and look forward to putting on another great show in 2017.”
Inverclyde Council Provost Robert Moran, said: “The P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea was an excellent event earlier this year. It was also a great opportunity to showcase Inverclyde and its marine leisure opportunities to a wide audience not just in Inverclyde but across the UK. The broadcast opportunity also meant that our message had a worldwide reach. In addition to a great weekend of powerboat and Jet Ski racing, the event showcased a range of tourism-related business and organisations from across Inverclyde. As co-host the council welcomed this new event to the Scottish events calendar and I am delighted that the council is once again joining with Riverside Inverclyde as co-hosts of the P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea in 2017.”
Riverside Inverclyde’s Chair Gerry McCarthy said: “With the global reach that this event has, Riverside Inverclyde saw a unique opportunity for positioning the area for mobile investment – demonstrating Inverclyde is an area of great ambition, and an ideal location for attracting new businesses. The exposure Inverclyde has had with the build up to this year’s event, the exciting spectacle of the event itself, the wonderful time everyone had on the Esplanade, and the international reach of the TV programmes since, there is no doubt that Inverclyde has been presented in a very positive light to the world. We want to build on this success and use this event as a potential catalyst for economic growth for Inverclyde and I am delighted that once again Inverclyde Council and Riverside Inverclyde will be working with the P1 organisation in returning the Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea to Inverclyde”.
The P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea features both P1 SuperStock powerboat racing and P1 AquaX Jet Ski action which take place around the UK coast. Each round includes two days of racing, as well as Jet Ski freestyle and hydroflight displays.
In its debut season, the Spirit of Inverclyde team of Dino Zavaroni and Gordon Wicklow represented Scottish hopes across the five rounds, progressing throughout the series before securing a podium place at the final race weekend in Bournemouth where they finished second behind overall series winners, Pertemps Network.