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‘Such a surreal moment’: Canadian driver on first-place finish in world F1 powerboat Grand Prix

A Canadian is making a big name for himself on the international Formula One (F1) powerboat racing circuit with his first-place finish earlier this month.

On March 3, Rusty Wyatt, 29, of Innisfil, Ont., blew 16 other competitors out of the water when he clinched victory at the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia, the first in a series of races for the F1H20 U.I.M. World Championship.

“It’s huge. Especially being the first race. Rookie year, first race, you couldn’t write it any better for sure. It was incredible,” Wyatt told Global News.

“All the guys that I race with and whatnot, we all look up to this series. It’s the biggest racing series going on. To go over there just to race and compete and then (be) in the top ten is huge. So, when that win came, all my buddies were messaging me, and it’s such a surreal moment, being in that league, and we happen to get a win.”

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UIM F1H2O World Championship 2024 – Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia March 1/3 2024. Photo by Simon Palfrader/Courtesy of F1H20 U.I.M. World Championship

Since first speaking with Global News in June, Wyatt has been working his way through the powerboat racing circuit in North America. He recently switched to the top F1 circuit overseas when he joined Team Sharjah racing boat 17.

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This being Wyatt’s first time competing in this circuit, he says he did had some trouble getting used to using a new boat.

“So we tested for two hours to get comfortable and trust the boat. It was a big day, but we caught on pretty quick, and we were able to follow the qualifying all the way up,” he says.

F1 powerboat racing takes the look and speed of a race car to the water.

Wyatt represented Canada as the first Canadian to win a race in the F1H20 circuit and is the only Canadian currently in the circuit.

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“It’s something we’ve always dreamed of,” Wyatt said when talking about the switch to a higher level of racing. “I followed them on their live broadcast for many years, and a lot of the same racers are still out there, so it’s pretty surreal racing all against them, guys who watched on T.V. and all that. So it’s very exciting.”

On March 3, Rusty Wyatt, 29, of Innisfil, Ont., blew 16 other commentators out of the water when he clinched victory at the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia F1H20 U.I.M. World Championship. Photo Courtesy of F1H20 U.I.M. World Championship

The U.I.M. F1H20 World Championship is considered the world’s foremost international series of single-seater inshore circuit powerboat racing.

While powerboat racing may not be as well known in Canada, the sport is more well known in the United States and overseas, with several official racing circuits for the fast-paced water sport.

Looking ahead, Wyatt says he is trying to focus on the bigger picture of winning the championship.

Wyatt has won the first in a series of races needed for the championship, with his next one scheduled to take place in Vietnam the last weekend in March.


&© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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