Formula 1 Powerboat Racing Championship Lands in Alton
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Alton, IL – Jan. 25, 2024) Ever dreamed of watching boats flying across the waters of the Mississippi River at speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour? That dream has just become reality with the news that Formula 1 Powerboat racing is coming to the Mississippi River in Alton June 21-23 with a multi-day event featuring Formula 1 Powerboats, Tunnel Boats and Tri-Hulls.
The Formula 1 Powerboat Championship will take place on the Mississippi River at the Alton riverfront with a series of six to eight races. The races will include the sleek and glamorous F1 Powerboats, 12-foot Tunnel boats, Tri-Hulls based on a pleasure boat design and J-Hydro, 12-foot Knee Rider Boats for racers ages 9 to 16 years.
“This is a terrific addition to the sporting events the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau has been able to attract over the last three years,” Cory Jobe, President and CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau said. “We want to thank the City of Alton for approving this event and we are looking forward to enjoying a weekend of powerboat racing and community fun along the city’s riverfront.”
The event is expected to draw 20,000-plus spectators and bring in an economic impact to the region of over $2.5 million. The Tourism Bureau is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Coast Guard for approval and assistance with water safety.
“On behalf of the Formula 1 Powerboat Championship, we are very excited to bring Formula 1 powerboat racing back to Alton,” said Tim Seebold, Managing Director of Formula 1 Powerboat Championship. “It will be fantastic returning to the Mississippi River in downtown Alton Illinois showcasing our world class Formula 1 drivers and their technologically advanced powerboats in conjunction with the Midwest Nationals.”
F1 Powerboat competition begins with a 20-plus boat field lined on the start pontoon with their engines silent. At the drop of the green flag, the drivers ignite their engines, shooting thousands of gallons of rooster tailed water over 150-feet high as they accelerate to the first turn.
The spectator friendly racing on a tight course is made up of a combination of right and left hand hairpin turns with various straightaways providing deck to deck action in front of fans. No two laps are the same due to the ever-changing wind and water conditions.
“Our family friendly events have an open pit area for the fans to meet the drivers and marvel at the machines they drive,” Seebold noted. “Alton holds a special place in my heart with its rich powerboat racing history. Our family began racing on the Mississippi River starting with my grandfather back in 1939 and has continued with my father, older brother, and myself. Growing up in the greater metropolitan St. Louis area strengthened mine, like many St. Louis area fans F1 Powerboat racing enthusiasm as we all attended the St. Louis Grand Prix races for over 38 years. It has been fantastic to bring powerboat racing back to the area with all the local support. I know this will be a monumental event for everyone involved.”
More details on the races and additional riverfront activities will be announced closer to the event.
(The Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau is a certified Destination Marketing Organization serving Madison, Jersey, Calhoun, Macoupin, Montgomery and Greene counties and East St. Louis in St. Clair County. The bureau is dedicated to educating visitors about the region by providing information regarding the area’s history, unique landmarks, recreational opportunities, leisure attractions, special events and scenic marvels.)