Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal will be a part of the world’s first all-electric boat racing league, UIM E1 World Championship, as he has just bought a team that will run in the future competition.
Rafael Nadal is a very competitive tennis player, with a career of over two decades. Although he is one of the highest-paid tennis players of all time, Nadal also has several business investments to help him even after he retires from the sport that made him famous.
He has made several investments, including endorsement deals with various brands like Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, and Richard Mille. But he also opened a tennis school called Rafa Nadal Academy and the Rafa Nadal Tennis Center. And he also invested in a restaurant chain called TATEL, alongside other high-profile names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Pau Gasol, and Enrique Iglesias.
And now, he’s joining the world’s first all-electric boat racing league. The 22-time Grand Slam Winner has just purchased a team in the UIM E1 World Championship, but he’s yet to name it.
His is the third team announced so far, with ten to 12 teams in the series, each with two boats and two pilots. The season is set to start later this year and the races will be held over the course of two days.
Participants will get behind the wheel of the “RaceBird” boats, which were designed by Norwegian designer Sophi Horne and Italian naval architect Bruno Acampora. The boats use innovative hydrofoil technology, have a small one-pilot cockpit, and are put in motion by electric motors from Mercury Marine. They will reach top speeds of 50 knots (58 mph (93 kph), although their battery time only lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes.
“I like the fact that E1 has a clear mission and is committed to preserving marine ecosystems,” Rafael Nadal said in a statement following the announcement of his new 1 team.
Rafael Nadal isn’t the only athlete who has invested in E1. Because Formula 1’s Red Bull Racing driver Sergio “Checo” Perez will also enter Team Mexico that will race under the flag of Mexico in the inaugural season. The other team announced is Team Venice Racing.
The E1 series was co-founded by Alejandro Agag and Rodi Basso. Agag also founded and oversaw the Formula E electric car racing circuit, and Extreme E, electric off-road racing. So, he decided to take it out on the water, too. “My ambition is for the E1 Series to accelerate the adoption of electric boats, to demonstrate how exciting they can be and to promote electric solutions and clean-water mobility to marine travel worldwide,” he shared with Robb Report after the announcement of the circuit.
Meanwhile, Basso has a background as an aerospace engineer and wrote his thesis with NASA. He worked with some of the biggest teams in motor racing, including Ferrari and Red Bull Racing, moving on to business performance and development for Magneti Marelli or McLaren Applied Technologies. And now, they will take over the boat racing world.