Didier Drogba and Lilium Group partner as co-owners of Team Drogba - the only African team competing in the E1 World Championship
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 1 February 2024: Lilium Group, the parent company of Vista Group the African financial services group, and the Didier Drogba Foundation announce that they are co-owners of Team Drogba in the E1 World Championship, which is the world’s first all-electric boat racing championship.
The Didier Drogba Foundation was established by Didier Drogba, the renowned Ivorian football superstar who played 105 games and scored 65 goals for his country, with his club teams notably including Chelsea, Galatasaray and Marseille.
Didier Drogba commented: “I am delighted to be helping to ensure that Africa can rightfully compete on an equal footing on the world stage and am really hoping that we will see Team Drogba, which could equally be called Team Africa, lifting the E1 Trophy later this year.”
Simon Tiemtore, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lilium Group, stated: “I’m dedicated to pan-Africanism and it is a real honour to be teaming up with the African sporting icon Didier Drogba to have our continent represented in the inaugural E1 World Championship. In this era of major focus on renewable energy it is both exciting and appropriate to see electric racing on water come to fruition with clean technologies to protect our waters and coastal areas.”
Team Drogba is one of the teams participating in the inaugural E1 World Championship and is the only African team competing. The seven other teams announced to date also all feature high profile celebrities and comprise Formula 1 racing driver Sergio Pérez (Team Mexico); former world number 1 tennis player Rafael Nadal (Team Nadal); American football quarterback and 3-time most valuable player Tom Brady (Team Brady); DJ and music producer Steve Aoki (Aoki Racing Team); Indian international cricketer Virat Kohli (Team Blue Rising); singer, songwriter and actor Marc Antony (Team Miami); technology entrepreneur Marcelo Claure (Team Brazil).
The first round of the E1 World Championship season is taking place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 2 - 3 February, with subsequent rounds taking place in Venice, Italy (11 - 12 May); Puerta Banús, Spain (1 - 2 June); Geneva, Switzerland (29 - 30 June); Monaco (26 - 27 July); Rotterdam, Netherlands (7 - 8 September); and Hong Kong (9 - 10 November).
All teams will be using identical RaceBird boats for the first two seasons of the Championship, with regulations being opened up in future seasons to allow teams and manufacturers to develop their own electric technologies. The RaceBird, which soars above the water’s surface on advanced hydrofoil technology, evolved from the creative genius and concepts of Norwegian designer Sophi Horne, with Rodi Basso, founder and CEO of E1 Series, and naval architect Brunello Acampora playing a pivotal role in transforming the designs into reality.
Each team will have two pilots to share driving duties and are mandated to select a mixed gender pilot line-up to ensure equal opportunities in the sport. The pilots will put their skills to the test using tight and technical short courses located close to the shore.
E1 is the first electric raceboat championship sanctioned by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), the world governing body of powerboating. E1 holds an exclusive license with the UIM to promote a racing series on the water powered solely by electric. The championship was established to create a new, competitive on-water racing proposition based on clean technologies to protect our waters and coastal areas.
For further information about the E1 World Championship, please visit: https://www.e1series.com