May 13, 2024 - News

Marc Anthony represents Miami in new electric boat racing championship

Marc Anthony (center left ) and Team Miami of the UIM E1 World Championship. Photo: Joseph Thomas

Marc Anthony (center left ) and Team Miami of the UIM E1 World Championship. Photo: Joseph Thomas

Latin music icon Marc Anthony is representing Miami in a new boat-racing championship coming here next year.

Why it matters: The UIM E1 World Championship — said to be the world's first electric boat-racing championship — features celebrity team owners like Will Smith, Tom Brady and Rafael Nadal.

  • The series, which holds races in glamorous destinations across the world, hopes to raise awareness for sustainable energy and has announced commitments to coastal habitat restoration.

How it works: E1, which held its first race in February, has nine teams with two pilots each.

The teams: Anthony and co-founder Robert Jakobi lead Team Miami.

  • There's Team Brady and Team Rafa, too. Owners of other teams include DJ Steve Aoki, Formula 1 driver Sergio "Checo" Pérez and soccer great Didier Drogba.

The boats: Futuristic-looking RaceBirds, which use hydrofoil wings to elevate off the water. They can reach speeds of 57 mph.

The format: Race weekends include practice, qualifying and knockout races. Pilots go head-to-head in multiple heats to advance to the final.

What's next: E1 announced a Miami race for 2025, but specific dates and a location have not yet been revealed.

VENICE, ITALY - JUNE 04: Cara Delevingne onboard the RaceBird electric foiling powerboat at the launch of the UIM E1 World Championship
Model Cara Delevingne poses on an E1 RaceBird in 2022. Photo: Lloyd Images/Getty Images

The intrigue: The international championship is backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which has been criticized for "sportswashing" its human rights record with massive investments in golf, soccer and Formula 1.

What they're saying: Jakobi said Saudi Arabia's PIF is a "great partner" and he has "no concerns" about its investment in the sport.

  • The combined star power of the teams — and E1's focus on sustainability — should help the racing championship stand out in a competitive sports market, he said.
  • "The combined reach of all our teams is half a billion people."

What's next: Jakobi said he envisions Miami's race weekend to include music festivals and fan activations, similar to F1's Miami Grand Prix.

Jakobi calls Anthony "Mr. Miami" and says the Grammy-winning singer is passionate about boats and hungry to win.

  • "He's an iconic singer with a huge following, huge fanbase in Miami. It gives us obviously a lot of legitimacy and credibility. There's no better person to partner with than Marc."
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Miami.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Miami stories

No stories could be found

Miamipostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Miami.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more