12 January 2024
2024 UIM-ABP Aquabike European Continental Championship

Friday, January 12: Aquabike Promotion today announced that the picturesque French city of Vichy will host round two of the 2024 UIM-ABP Aquabike European Continental Championship on July 26th-28th.


The race will be hosted by Vichy O’Sport under the management of Gilles Poret, an experienced and enthusiastic Frenchman with a passion for jet ski racing since 1989, who opened one of the first jet ski retail shops in France - ‘eaux and sport’.


Vichy is a popular spa and resort city and an excellent venue for water sports with the racing action taking place on the River Allier, the source of which comes from the nearby Massif Central plateau near Clermont-Ferrand. It is better known for its famous spring water and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the ‘Great Spa Towns of Europe’ category in 2021.


Gilles Poret is the father of Mickael, Jérémy, Morgan and Estelle Poret, four of the hottest properties currently competing in the UIM-ABP World and European Championships. Mickael, for his part, is the oldest of the siblings and the defending Ski Division GP1 World Champion.


O’Sport supported by Aquabike Promotion has decided to affiliate with the UIM to organise the second round of the UIM-ABP European Continental Aquabike Championship.


"We want Vichy to become an essential race on planet jet ski,” said Gilles Poret. “We will also organise a large jet show during this event. We would also like to thank the H2O Racing and Aquabike Promotion for their support and trust, but also the City of Vichy, the FFM and the entire jet cross team for making this possible.”


Jessica Chavanne was the 2023 UIM Driver of the Year and is the current Ski Ladies GP1 World Champion. She said: “This location is special due to its narrow layout surrounded by concrete walls. This creates physically demanding navigation conditions with waves bouncing off obstacles. Precise driving plays a crucial role in this race and this intensifies the challenge. Additionally, the urban nature of the event draws a diverse audience and this adds a spectacular dimension to this legendary jet ski competition.”


Vichy hosted a round of the UIM F1H2O World Championship during its first ever season back in 1981 – a race that was won by the late Dutchman Cees van der Velden. The city hosted a Grand Prix for the second time the following season and Italian multi-time World Champion Renato Molinari took the winner’s laurels. With on-water action returning with European aquabike racing, local officials hope to encourage a younger and sportier tourist fraternity in the future.