A broken trim tab cost the Anglo Norwegian team of Steve Curtis and Bjorn Gjelsten dearly in the Qatar Grand Prix on October 11...

A broken trim tab cost the Anglo Norwegian team of Steve Curtis and Bjorn Gjelsten dearly in the Qatar Grand Prix on October 11. But despite finishing fourth, following a long run of success, they still remain 16 points ahead of Victory 7 in the battle for the world title (a record fourth for Curtis). They now only need to finish higher than seventh in the Dubai final next Friday (October 18) to gain the crown. But without doubt the Qatar Grand Prix was one of the most exiting of the WOC season. Fitted with new propellers, Australia’s Riviera, driven by Bill Barry-Cotter and Peter McGrath, made an excellent start to lead the first 13 laps of the 14-lap contest before an exciting spin-out on the final turn buoy allowed Victory 1 through. Hammering down the throttles and the finishing line in sight, the Australian team then reclaimed first place just prior to the finish line.

Commenting later an elated McGrath said, “After we spun, we thought we had another lap to go. Then we saw the chequered flag and I couldn’t believe it.” He added, “It was absolutely fantastic to be on the podium at last after all work we have done throughout the season.”

Victory 7, driven by Ali Nasser and Ali Al Qama were in third place throughout the first 13 laps of the race, but overtook teammates Victory 1 on the final lap to remain in contention for the world title with a second placing.

Victory 1, driven by Saeed H. Al-Tayer and Mohammed Al Marri from the UAE, finished third after briefly claiming the lead on the final lap while the Norwegian Jotun, seeing the return of Andreas Ugland alongside Jann Hillestad on the throttles, finished fifth.

RESULTS World Class I Offshore Championship. Round 7 Qatar Grand Prix:

1. Riviera – Bill Barry-Cotter (Australia)/Peter McGrath (Australia)

2. Victory 7 – Ali Nasser (U.A.E.) /Ali Al Qama (U.A.E.)

3. Victory 1 – Saeed H. Al-Tayer (U.A.E.)/Mohammed Al Marri (U.A.E.)

4. Spirit of Norway – Bjorn Rune Gjelsten (Norway)/Steve Curtis (GB)

5. Jotun – Andreas Ugland (Norway)/Jann Hillestad (Norway)

6. Damas – Kristian Tzanov (Italy)/Giovanni Carpitella (Italy)

7. Highlander – Edoardo Polli (Italy)/Renny Harlin (Finland)

8. Binautica – Roberto Biancalana (Italy)/Claudio Dionisio (Monaco)

Retired Roscioli Hotels – Nicola Giorgi (Italy)/Kurt Prufert (Germany)

Retired ECS – Matteo Nicolini (Italy)/Bernhard Bellmann (Germany)

Did not Start GFN Gibellato – Giampaolo Montavoci (Italy)/Gianni Giorgi (Italy)