President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) lauded the event of the 2023 World Championship F1 Powerboat (F1H2O) that potentially improved the local economy.
“This is a fascinating event, and this is the first time I watched this F1 Powerboat,” Jokowi said after attending the event in Muliaraja Napitupulu Port in Lake Toba, North Sumatra, on Sunday.
The event could encourage economic growth around the race area, which needs to be balanced with infrastructure improvements.
Several improvements are needed in several parts of the Lake Toba area, including the infrastructure and the airport terminal.
President Jokowi and First Lady Iriana arrived on Sunday to watch the 2023 F1H2O World Championship. Jokowi also greeted and took a picture together with the F1H20 racers.
Additionally, the Director General of Information and Public Communication at the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, Usman Kansong said on Friday (Feb 24) the F1 Powerboat Championship can encourage Indonesian tourism, especially Lake Toba, as the main destination choice for world tourists.
The local government prepared at least 502 outlets for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) actors to exhibit and promote their products, which varied from food products and beverages to souvenirs during the event.
The state-owned tourism and aviation holding, InJourney, said the 2023 F1H2O was held successfully. “This event has been successfully completed, namely the qualification round and the race,” InJourney Director Dony Oskaria said.
The success of the F1 Powerboat event impacts the society’s economy ranging from lodging, MSMEs, transportation, and others. “This is our target in preparing every event. By broadcasting F1 Powerboat on 15 international television stations and being watched by hundreds of millions, Lake Toba will become more famous worldwide,” he remarked.
The event also empowered several local motorized rickshaw taxi or bentor drivers.
On Sunday, a bentor driver named Daniel Manurung said the event brought him more passengers, amounting to three to four times the number he got on regular days. On weekdays, his average daily income ranged from Rp50 thousand to Rp80 thousand, but Manurung could earn around Rp150 thousand to Rp 200 thousand per day during the event.
The F1H2O World Championship is a flagship international race series of single-seater sport boats held by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM). Ten teams joined the current F1H2O with a total of 20 racers.
There are eight racing series in one championship season, with the first being held in Lake Toba, Indonesia, in 2023. Bartek Marszalek of Stromoy Racing earned full points after winning Race 1 of the F1 Powerboat (F1H2O) World Championship’s first round in Lake Toba on Sunday. In the 30-minute race, the Polish rider finished first after crossing the 2.2 kilometer circuit with 18 laps. Marszalek gained 20 points, becoming a valuable resource to compete in the next seven rounds in this year’s F1H2O.
“It is incredible to win the race. I really enjoyed it. This morning’s weather was perfect for the qualifier, and we had a lot of spectators around the lake; so many smiles gave extra motivation. I was excellent on the motorboat,” Marszalek said after the race.
Sami Selio of the Sharjah team won second place at 01.97 seconds behind Marszalek, while Erik Stark from the Victory team won third place at 03.26 seconds behind the first winner.
After the race, President Jokowi handed the trophy directly to the winner on the podium.