Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Meet E1 Series RaceBird, an electric hydrofoil powerboat

Electric Sea Racing Limited (‘E1 Series’) and Public Investment Fund (PIF) have entered into a partnership that will see PIF support in creating the world’s first electric powerboat racing championship. During a virtual launch event, E1 Series organizers also unveiled the new design of the fully electric RaceBird powerboat, which will form the basis of the all-new E1 series.

The new competition is scheduled to start in 2023, as the different phases of production of the ships must take place first.

The RaceBird powerboat is inspired by nature and birds flying low over the water and features an outboard motor, enclosed safety canopy, and hydrofoil technology. Thanks to an innovative hydrofoil technology, the electric RaceBird powerboats will rise high above the water’s surface, allowing for minimum drag and maximum energy efficiency. Being lifted above the waves will not only improve performance, but it will also promote close and competitive racing with a reduced wake when following an opponent.

Meet E1 Series RaceBird, a hydrofoiling electric powerboat for racing.
The RaceBird powerboat will feature in the world’s first electric powerboat racing championship. Credit: E1 Series

The powerboat is specially designed for foil-to-foil racing and is capable of reaching speeds up to 50 knots (93 km/h or 58 mph), with pilots showcasing their skills using tight and technical circuits located close to shore in the heart of urban areas.

The RaceBird is 7 meters long, 2 meters wide (with foils 3 meters), and weighs around 800 kg. The boat will feature full carbon bodies with wings out the sides that fold under to form the front hydrofoils and an extended wing tail on the outboard motor for the rear foil. The cabin is fully enclosed, as with the high-speed gasoline powerboats.

With the design now validated, the RaceBird has entered into the production phase with the expert engineers at Victory Marine concentrating their efforts and resource over the coming months on manufacturing a full fleet of race-ready electric powerboats. We’ll see a prototype later this year, and production is due for 2022.

Up to twelve teams will compete in a time trial knockout format, while the pilots competing in it are expected to come from motor boating, sailing, and motorsports.