Jon Jones (boat number 2) leads one of the final races in Royal Victoria Docks (1987).
Obviously by now, everyone knows that London will host a round of the F1H2o World Championship in 2018, and news was leaked regarding the event even before contracts were signed. However, few people know how this prestigious meeting was captured for the UK capital.
Eric Chan, captain of the Chinese F1 team, asked retired five times world F1 champion Jonathan Jones, now an F1 TV commentator, would he be prepared to meet Mr Li Haojie, Chairman of Tianrong Sports, the Chinese sports promotional company behind the UIM F1H2o, and show him around one or two venues in the Dockland area of London which might be suitable for a F1 GP event.
After inspecting two docks that had been recommended, Mr Li and his delegation felt neither were large enough to accommodate the race circuit and all the equipment that goes with today’s F1 GP. It was Jones who suggested an alternative site that he knew of and despite a busy schedule Mr Li agreed to view this final dock. St Katherines Dock had been used for F1 in the 1980s, and ironically Jon Jones had won one of the final races on this iconic circuit. Everything about St Katherine’s was ideal:- it is situated near to the iconic O2 Dome and the impressive Excel exhibition complex; strategically, it is conveniently located to London City Airport and Dockland’s light railway all within walking distance. This is a natural site for a Formula 1 race circuit and Jonathon Jones pointed out that although it was many years ago, St Katherines brought back many happy memories for him as a competitor in the 1980s.
Royal Victoria Dock today
F1 Action from 1987