H1 Unlimited Eyes International Expansion into China - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

H1 Unlimited Eyes International Expansion into China

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Pasco, Wash., February 20, 2012— H1 Unlimited and Beijing Kingolym Culture Communications Ltd. have entered into an agreement that could bring the world's fastest boats to China as soon as fall 2012.

The announcement comes after recent meetings between H1 Unlimited Chairman Sam Cole, Chinese Motorboat Association General Secretary Wan Hongjun and Beijing Kingolym President Zhengmin Shi to lay the groundwork for establishing an H1 presence in China. Although much work needs to be done to make this a reality, Cole and Shi agreed that the public awareness of the plan is essential.

"We are excited about engaging Beijing Kingolym to make this expansion happen," Cole said. "They have worked with boat racing in the past, have the support of the leadership of the Chinese Motorboat Association and have opened an office in Beijing to take this to the next level."

Cole acknowledged that there are several hurdles to clear:

  • A working agreement with UIM to allow for additional international events
  • Changes in shipping procedures for the teams; converting to containers
  • Invitations from the appropriate municipalities in China for the exact race location(s)
  • Scheduling resolution within the H1 Unlimited series
  • Ensuring no conflicts with the UIM World Championship Oryx Cup event in Doha, Qatar

Beijing Kingolym has hired staff, established a presence and is working daily to conduct a race in the world's largest country, which has hosted other classes of boat racing for many years. The organization had had involvement with some of those races as well as promoting international cycling events. Having the endorsement of the Chinese Motorboat Association's Secretary General Hongjun was an important factor in creating this new strategic alliance, Cole added.
A key part of the venture is creating a global television package that will bring the H1 Unlimited series and events to more than 1 billion households. Cole has been working with an experienced international television producer to ensure that this major requirement is met for the governments involved. This will be in addition to the series events being televised in the United States in 2012. Presently, the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship event is distributed throughout Europe and Asia. 
"After seeing first-hand all of the preliminary work that has been done, it was evident that the time is now to make a push for having an event in this country," Cole said. "We have several locations that are being considered and in the next few weeks will determine exactly where we may be racing."
"International expansion is a very slow process. There are so many details to work out and we are approaching this in a very prudent manner. Mr. Shi and Beijing Kingolym have my support and confidence that someday soon another continent will get to experience the splendor and excitement of H1 Unlimited racing."