H2O Racing
Union Internationale Motonautique


May 24, 2024


Friday, May 24:  As the countdown begins to the third round of the 2024 UIM F1H2O World Championship on the beautiful island of Sardinia on June 14th-16th, the UIM F1H2O Teams’ Championship is finely poised with three teams pulling away from the field.


Team Vietnam took over the Team Sweden name at the start of the season and the operation holds a slight advantage to take to the Regione Sardegna Grand Prix of Italy in Olbia. But it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the defending World Champion Jonas Andersson and his young Estonian team-mate Stefan Arand.


The Swede dominated the last four races of 2023 but was pipped to the finish by both Rusty Wyatt and Erik Stark in a Lake Toba thriller at the start of March and was unable to match Erik Stark for pace in Vietnam later that month. Arand contributed to the team effort with an invaluable fourth place in Indonesia and has picked up 16 points from two Sprint races, but his retirement in Vietnam was costly and it means Team Vietnam currently leads the Teams’ Championship by seven points from a tying Sharjah Team and Victory Team.


Scott Gillman’s decision to recruit the services of Canadian rookie Rusty Wyatt raised eyebrows in some circles but the Ontario-based racer has been a revelation so far this season and has already repaid Gillman’s confidence with a memorable debut win on Lake Toba, fourth at the Grand Prix of Bình Định-Vietnam in Quy Nhơn and a pair of runner-up spots in the Sprint races. Team-mate Filip Roms has suffered a pair of non-finishes and only picked up points in the Sprint races thus far.


The Victory Team’s early season form has come on the back of the superb start to the season shown by Erik Stark. The Swede finished behind Wyatt in Indonesia and held off Andersson to win in Vietnam to add to back-to-back Sprint race victories. He has collected 55 points so far from a potential 60. Team-mate Ahmad Al-Fahim was forced to miss the opening round after his yellow card in Sharjah and added two points to the team’s total in Quy Nhơn.


Bartek Marszalek and Marit Strømøy have pushed Strømøy Racing into fourth in the standings, nine points adrift of the pair of Emirati teams, and the China CTIC Team and the Red Devil–SMC F1 Team are fifth and sixth.


But the biggest disappointment of the year so far has been the results earned by the once all-conquering Team Abu Dhabi. The team earned a clean sweep of all four titles two seasons ago but languishes in seventh in the Teams’ Championship with 27 points. Veteran Thani Al-Qamzi added 17 of those for a sixth place in Vietnam and a pair of Sprint race results, while Alberto Comparato has contributed six and Rashed Al-Qemzi – his replacement for the Vietnamese race – adding four.


The F1 Atlantic Team and Maverick Racing hold eighth and ninth in the rankings, although Ben Jelf has made a strong start to the season for the former, having amassed 15 points for two useful Sprint races and eighth place on Lake Toba.