Helmed by the man behind both Formula E and Extreme E – Alejandro Agag – the E1 Series promises to deliver the very same E-xcitement to off-shore powerboat racing by 2023. Today, the fledgling sport pulled back the curtains on its very first (non-human) superstar: the E1 RaceBird.
According to Jalopnik, the story goes that Agag was on a stroll with his friend Rodi Basso – former NASA, Ferrari, and Red Bull F1 engineer – when the duo decided marine transport needed a kick up the ass to catch keep pace with the rest of the automotive world; specifically in its ongoing adoption of electric powertrains. From that point forward, they founded the E1 Series racing championship.
Created in partnership with Victory Marine and SeaBird Technologies, the futuristic RaceBird itself takes inspiration from avian creatures which fly above the water’s surface. As many have noted, the resulting aesthetic more closely resembles something from Star Wars. But what can you expect when you have cutting-edge minds like Basso on the job?
Weighing a total of 800 kg and measuring up to 23 feet, the high-powered race rig will be fitted with an outboard motor providing a top speed of 50 knots (92.6 km/h). Given how it leverages hydrofoil technology, it’ll be quite a spectacle. Instead of cruising in the water complete with waves and wake, the RaceBird “flies” about half a metre above the surface – thereby allowing far better performance and letting competitors come up real close to one another when they navigate those tight, narrow, and difficult circuits.
“Now that the design has been fully validated,” says Brunello Acampora, Founder & CEO of Victory Marine.
“We’ll begin engineering and manufacturing the boats in preparation for prototype testing and ready for the teams to receive their first delivery.”
The full-scale E1 RaceBird Model is scheduled to debut race-ready in real-life later this year at the 2021 Monaco Yacht Show. And once again, the first time we’ll see it in action is when the E1 Series finally kicks off in 2023 (Saudi Arabia currently being considered as the inaugural race location).