An Awkward Anticlimax in Antwerp

When powerboat race fans look back in the history books to see which one of their heroes’s won the 2017 UIM F2 Belgian Grand Prix, they will see that twenty six drivers won that day.

It’s fair to say that this weekend has been littered with organisational mistakes and that the finger pointing has only just begun. Sure, it’s been a while since the Belgian National Authorities organised a round of a circuit world championship and that they might have been forgiven for being perhaps a little bit rusty but the catalogue of errors that unfolded throughout the weekend really shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet if the sport is to progress.

This weekend we should have made the headlines for having one of the biggest fields of international drivers ever to race at a round of the F2 World Championship, instead people will read on social media about un-homologated race courses, insurance issues, inadequate pontoon facilities and short comings in the allotted time needed to qualify and race.

By Sunday lunch time, when the second of the hastily rearranged qualifying sessions was cancelled because the local river Police had re-opened the race course to commercial traffic, the writing was well and truly on the wall as to the demise of the event.

In the end it was the fact that the rescue divers couldn’t guarantee the drivers safety, due to the extremely strong ‘spring’ tide, that persuaded all twenty six of them to vote unanimously not to race.

We all have more than one lesson to learn after this weekend

said Pelle Larson, UIM Sports Commissioner.

We must rectify the issue of race course homologation, so that they all meet the requirements laid out in the UIM rule book, even if that means cancelling events if they don’t meet those requirements in the timescale allowed. If this sport is to grow, then we must not let this happen again.

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