One Hull of a boat: Race hots up to net P1 Superstock powerboat
BUSINESSES are being urged to propel Hull to the pinnacle of an international sporting event – or risk losing it to a rival bidder.
The P1 SuperStock Championship 2013 is launching in Hull this summer and scores of powerboats and professional racers will gather on the Humber for the first event.
The powerboats will then start a journey that takes them across the UK and beyond, with a number of teams heading overseas for further races.
The racing vessels and crew usually cost about £80,000, however at a Bondholder Breakfast in the city, organisers revealed they had a spare one available for £20,000.
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The opportunity was immediately picked up by Esteem chief executive Sam Whitaker who took to Twitter, and within ten minutes he had secured more than £1,000.
This figure has since risen to more than £5,000. However, after the news spread online, another host city jumped on Hull's bid and is now trying to secure funds to buy the same vessel.
Mr Whitaker said: "Eugene Bari from P1 SuperStock mentioned at the breakfast that they had a spare boat.
"He said 'I bet you could get together and sort that out', and as I looked around the room I could see heads popping up.
"I thought it was a great idea and took to Twitter half-jokingly, but within 24 hours the total pledged had gone up to £2,000.
"It instantly generated such momentum, I thought we have to do something with this.
"However, the magic of social media meant while we were looking to secure the money, another host city picked up on our plans and now the pressure is on.
"We really want to secure the vessel for the city and be able to prove what can happen when the businesses community puts its mind to it."
Described as "the next generation of motorsport", P1 SuperStock racing is designed to be affordable, inclusive and exciting for both participants and onlookers.
The P1 SuperStock Championship will take place in Hull on June 1 and 2.
The £20,000 the Hull business community is bidding to raise will go towards buying a P1 Powerboat to race in the UK stages across Hull, Plymouth, Cardiff, Weymouth, Eastbourne and Liverpool.
Mr Whitaker was the first individual to make a pledge with SPS Group representing the first business to put its hat in the ring. Hessle design and branding agency H&H promptly stepped in to design a website for the campaign and is now working on a design for the boat itself.
Full details are being finalised but everyone making a pledge will have the opportunity to see their name or logo associated with event branding, and will also benefit from VIP events and networking.
However, as Mr Whitaker pointed out, sometimes the benefits are about much more than pure economics.
"These events will be shown on Sky Sports, so the advertising and networking opportunities off the back of it will be huge.
"Ultimately, it will demonstrate what the business community can do when it puts its mind to something and works together.
"But on top of that, some people say they simply want to be able to stand on Hull Marina and say 'that's my boat' – it's as simple as that."
Half of the £20,000 target must be raised by the end of the month to secure the boat from the rival bid and local businesses can support the @onehull ofaboat campaign for as little as £200.
The campaign is also looking for key sponsors to pledge £2,000, in return receiving an invite to an exclusive, pre-event media launch, and a ride in the powerboat.
Any organisations wishing to help out should email esther.damary@hull. co.uk or visit www.onehullofaboat. co.uk for further details.