The International Union of Powerboating (UIM) has held its eighth edition of its World Champions Awards Giving Gala at the Monte Carlo Sporting, with Prince Albert among the special guests. The awards ceremony, attended by more than 450 people, was broadcast live on UIM TV and the Olympic Channel.
UIM President Raffaele Chiulli and Bund Holding head Xin Chongjie welcomed Prince Albert at a pre-awards reception, where he was introduced to the innovatory BUND Electric Integrated Propulsion System (EIPS) high-performance marine racing engine.
The engine is due to be used in the 2018 UIM-H2O Nations Cup World Series and the V20 solar boat for the 2017 Monaco Offshore Solar Race.
"The eighth edition of the UIM Awards Giving Ceremony and Gala Dinner also coincides with our 95th anniversary, which gives the event an extra special touch," Mr Chiulli said. "Special thanks go to HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, who regularly honours the UIM with his presence, and to all the world champions and distinguished guests on this special occasion.
"In 2016 the UIM organised close to 150 titled events worldwide in the disciplines of offshore, circuit, pleasure navigation and aquabike and it fills me with honour and pride to welcome the resulting world champions to Monaco.
"This year’s edition also bears witness to our new partner China’s Bund Holding Group who enjoyed a successful 2016 as local organisers of UIM Aquabike and Nations Cup events in China and whose plans for the future are built on ground-breaking technical innovation with an immense potential to 'green' our sport."
Mr Chiulli announced the appointment of Marco Casiraghi as the UIM’s green energies ambassador.
There was a strong environmental theme to the evening. The 2016 UIM Environmental Award was won by Terra Modena Mechatronic Srl for its full electric engine for powerboat racing. Special mentions were made of the environmentally-friendly XCat Grand Prix in the Swiss city of Lugano, Mercury Racing for the 400S ROS Competition Outboard and Vripack for the V5 solar race boat.
The first "Sport For All Award" and and the first-ever Junior Driver and Driver of the Year awards, went to Estonia's Stefan Arand and the late Massimo Rossi of Italy respectively. Formula One powerboat legend Guido Cappellini was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
International Automobile Federation (FIA) President Jean Todt was also an award winner, receiving the UIM Safety Award for his role in the FIA’s "Action for Road Safety" campaign. The accolade was accepted on his behalf by FIA Deputy President for Sport, Graham Stoker. (Feature image: uimpowerboating.com)