Två personer framför en racingbåt

Nautical science student Mathilda Wiberg competing in Powerboat Racing World Championship

This weekend it is time for the Powerboat Racing World Championship, and Mathilda Wiberg from Åkersberga will be competing in endurance racing, which is a 12-hour race spanning two days. Mathilda is in the first year of the Nautical Science Programme, pursuing her elite career in powerboat racing in parallel with her studies.

“The Nautical Science Programme and powerboat racing go well together. Some of the prior knowledge that powerboat racing has given me has been useful in my studies, and since Linnaeus University is an Elite Sports-Friendly University (EVL), I’m allowed much flexibility in terms of exams and exercises in case they clash with my training or with competitions”, Mathilda tells us.

The race is taking place in Belgium and Mathilda is competing in a couple of different powerboat racing classes – “offshore”, which could be compared to rally racing, and “inshore”, which is similar to go-karting, only on water.

“For the 2023 season, my main focus is on inshore racing, in a category called Formula 4. There are four World Championship heats in this category, in Italy and Germany. This weekend I’ll compete in endurance racing with the same Formula 4 boat. This race will be the first of the season but there will likely be different races around Europe almost every weekend this summer”, says Mathilda.

Mathilda’s entire family is involved in powerboat racing, and they go to the different races as a team. It was Mathilda’s dad who opened her eyes to the sport when he was competing as a young man.

“I’m not building up any specific expectations for the World Championship this weekend. I’ve never competed in such a long race before. Me and my little brother are competing on the same team, on behalf of Sweden, and he’s having his World Championship debut in the category. It’ll be exciting to meet the top racers from last year again, and hopefully keep the bronze medal that I got in Formula 4 in 2022”, says Mathilda.

Bild på båt

Mathilda is able to pursue her elite sports career at the same time as she’s studying at the university thanks to her being what is referred to as an “EVL student”. Linnaeus University wants more elite athletes to have the chance to study. Read more about our work as an Elite Sports-Friendly University here. (Page only available in Swedish.)