Rafael Nadal is the newest team owner in the E1 electric regatta league

The fledgling UIM E1 electric regatta league continues to make waves ahead of its inaugural season which begins later this year. Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has officially signed on as the league’s newest team owner, representing his native Mallorca, Spain. In addition, Nadal will support the league’s Blue Action programme, which helps restore marine ecosystems, and work alongside his private academy to promote sustainability through sport.

The UIM E1 World Electric Powerboat Series is an emerging championship racing league created specifically for electric boats, brought to life by Formula E and Extreme E founder Alejandro Agag, and Rudy Basso, former Director of Motorsport at McLaren with a background in Formula 1.

They initially launched the league in 2020 to not only bring an exciting new competitive platform to the water but at the same time develop and promote more sustainable marine technologies to keep the city’s waterfronts clean.

In February of 2021, E1 announced that it had partnered with SeaBird Technologies and Victory Marine to develop, manufacture and assemble the RaceBird – an electric boat that will eventually compete in the E1 World Championship Series.

This was followed by news in April of 2022 that Venice had become the first city to field an E1 racing team. Following today’s news, Spain has joined the electric marine racing series and will be led by 22-time tennis champion Rafael Nadal, who is sure to add some welcome celebrities to the affair.

  • Rafael Nadal
  • Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal launches Team Spain as the newest owner of E1

E1 shared the news and photos of Rafael Nadal’s official signing as owner of Team Spain. The tennis legend is from the Spanish island of Mallorca, surrounded by the beautiful Mediterranean environment he remains passionate about. Hence, part of the reason he chose to support E1’s mission beyond bringing electric regattas to the masses. Nadal went:

I am really excited to be involved in a project like E1 that values ​​sustainability and will make a positive impact on society as a whole, especially in coastal communities. I also like the fact that E1 has a clear mission and is committed to preserving marine ecosystems. As a professional athlete, I understand how making marginal gains has a positive impact on performance. Seeing the same competitive spirit and approach applied at E1 to improve the performance and efficiency of sustainable maritime mobility is great news for our oceans.

When the UIM E1 World Electric Boat Series begins its inaugural season, “Rafa’s” new team will compete against other nations such as Venice and Mexico, owned by Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez. However, Nadal has already forged a partnership with E1 that extends beyond competitive marine racing.

Rafa’s E1 RaceBird design for Team Spain / Source: E1

Rafa will also support E1’s Blue Action programme, which is being led by the association’s chief scientist, marine ecologist, and fellow Mallorquin resident, Professor Carlos Duarte. Together with tennis superstar Rafa Nadal’s Academy, E1’s Blue Action program will develop a comprehensive sustainability strategy across the league, while at the same time supporting the Academy’s sustainability initiatives and commitment to sustainable sport. Duarte also said:

I’m excited to see tennis legend Rafael Nadal join E1. Rafa embodies the spirit of elite athleticism and flexibility. As a fellow Mallorquin Islander, I know Rafa shares my passion and commitment to marine conservation, and I look forward to having Rafa’s support on this important journey to deliver on large-scale restoration of marine ecosystems.

Finally, E1 and the Rafa Nadal Academy intend to collaborate on an international thought leadership event that brings together the worlds of sport and sustainability. In version:

The main event will bring the world’s leading sustainability experts together at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, to examine the next level of thinking about sustainability and highlight the positive role sport can play in advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The league states that the UIM E1 World Power Boat Series is still on track to start later this year and that more teams and racing cities will be announced in the coming months. With only three teams announced so far, there are plenty of slots available to fill the 10-12 spots E1 plans for the championship series.

Furthermore, at this year’s World Port Days in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, E1 intends to present a special launch show showcasing multiple electric boat races, kicking off the countdown to the inaugural championship season. Given that the Port Days event usually takes place in September each year, we expect the electric racing league to begin its championship series near the end of 2023.

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