It’s a vessel that’s been away from our shores for 33 years but now a new generation of the country’s sport lovers can soak up the world powerboat championship in Britain.

Having last been held in London in 1985, Royal Victoria Dock will host this year's UIM F1H2O Grand Prix of London - one leg of the sport’s prestigious world championship.

Powerboat superstars Philippe Chiappe and Marit Stromoy among the featured guests speaking to the media at the launch of the Grand Prix, set to be held between June 15 and 17.

A boat from the CTIC F1 Shenzhen China team was on display at More London Riverside near Tower Bridge for the launch.

French racer Chiappe, a three-time world champion with the CTIC team, has never raced in England and has set his sights on securing victory in the capital.

“It’s the first time I’ll race in London which is great – London is an incredible city, it’s a dream city for me and I’m very excited,” he said.

“It’s an exciting race – it’s an old race and a spectacular race and I hope a lot of people in the UK see it because it’s a great spectacle.”

Norwegian Stromoy became the first woman ever to win a Grand Prix leg in 2015 and is relishing the chance to tackle what promises to be one of the more challenging circuits of the series.

“I’m really looking forward to the race in London,” she said. “I raced here about 15 years ago in a smaller class and now we’re here in the F1 and I’m sure it will be a great race.

“The Docklands is very narrow – it’s a small circuit and for sure it will be very tight racing and very interesting.”

Hosted in tandem with London Tech Week, the series is the second in the UIM F1H2O World Championship calendar after May’s curtain-raiser in Portugal.

As well as the race itself, all qualifying and practice will be held at the docks, as will a whole host of other activities across the weekend for water sport lovers.

One man who knows more about powerboat racing than most is Welshman Jonathan Jones – four-time world powerboat champion and the Master of Ceremonies for the press call.

Jones is delighted at having the prospect of a major race back in British waters after such a prolonged absence.

“The racing is so intense, it’s so close, there’s so much happening, thrills and spills, high speed action – it’s got it all,” he said.

“Powerboat racing really started in the UK – there were so many people passionate about the sport back in the 70s and 80s and we lost our way a little bit.

“Other nations picked up the mantle after that and it’s so nice to have it back in the UK – I know there are a number of people who are passionate about this sport and want to make it an annual event.”

The London leg is being engineered by Tian Rong Sports, which promotes the Chinese legs of the UIM F1H2O World Championships.

It is a unique move for such an organisation - the London Grand Prix is the first time a Chinese sponsor has promoted any sporting event outside of the country. Chief architect behind the move is Li Haojie, chairman of the Tian Rong Sports and UIM F1 committee member, who said Britain’s rich maritime history and sporting flair was among many reasons why the promoter wanted to bring elite competitive powerboating back to the UK.

“London is the world sports centre and we want to bring this event to the city to prove our country has the capability to hold the event in London,” said Mr Li.

“London is the city of sports and a city of all water sports and we want to bring the top level of water sports to London and to promote the city better and this event better to the world.”

Mark Thomas, the UK representative for Tian Rong Sports, added: “If you go back 33 years to the Royal Victoria Dock, there’s been amazing development and infrastructure put into place.

“To come back and bring this exciting high-tech event back that can not only showcase a sport but also how London has developed and changed in that time, I think it’s a great opportunity.

“When you’ve got 20 boats all thundering off, it’s absolutely dynamic – if you want excitement on the water then there’s no better race to see.”

The UIM F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of London – spectacular, high-octane inshore circuit powerboat racing – returns to East London’s Royal Victoria Dock on 15-17 June 2018. Spectators will be able to watch the powerboats battling each other into turns at over 90mph and hitting speeds of up to 140mph on the straights. For more information including tickets and hospitality, visit