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The 22-time Grand Slam champion posing next to the “Raging Bull” logo at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain.

Rafael Nadal joins electric boat championship E1 as team owner

10 January 2023• Written by Brooke Murphy

The world’s first electric boat championship E1 has announced eco-conscious superyacht owner Rafael Nadal as the new owner of an E1 racing team.  Nadal will enter his own team for the inaugural season, which is set to get underway later this year. 

Nadal will is also acting as a key supporter of E1’s Blue Action Programme. The programme, led by world-leading marine ecologist Carlos Duarte, has been designed to protect and restore marine ecosystems at scale in waterfronts of cities.

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The E1 electric raceboat with a livery inspired by the colour scheme of Nadal’s tennis racket.

The partnership will extend beyond racing, to include the launch of an international thought leadership event focused on the theme of sport and environmentalism. Sustainability experts will be brought together at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca to “examine the next level of thinking on sustainability and highlight the positive role that sport can play in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.

The Blue Action Programme is led by fellow Mallorquin islander and marine ecologist Professor Carlos Duarte, chief scientist at E1. “Rafa epitomises elite sportsmanship and resilience,” he said. "As a fellow Mallorquin islander, I know Rafa shares my passion and commitment to marine conservation, and I’m looking forward to having Rafa’s support on this important journey to deliver restoration of marine ecosystems at scale.”

Rafael Nadal and E1 Co-Founder & Chairman Alejandro Agag stood together on the tennis court, holding the steering wheel used in the electric raceboat.

Nadal’s team will race alongside the Venice Racing Team and Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez’s team.

Alejandro Agag, co-founder and chairman of E1, said what incredible news it was to have a name like Rafael Nadal join the UIM E1 World Championship. “He’s not only one of the greatest tennis players of all time, he’s also a sporting icon who has transcended his sport," he said. 

“It’s amazing to see how driven Rafa is both on and off the court, particularly his appreciation for the ocean and marine life. Nadal’s academy is the perfect expression of that, creating a better world for future generations and improving the lives of young people,” Rodi Basso, co-Founder and CEO of E1, said.

E1 is the world’s first and only all-electric raceboat championship sanctioned by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM). The championship will see up to 10 teams and 20 pilots racing on the water in cities around the world.

In the coming months, championship organisers will continue to accelerate preparations for the inaugural season, with more teams and race venues to be announced in due course.