Compensation after losing out on World Title

Spirit of Norway‘s Bjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis completed the Dubai-double to take their fourth win of the season at the Dubai Grand Prix on Saturday, the final round of the 2007 Class 1 World Powerboat Championship. The result gave them the Middle East Championship.

They were followed across the line by the newly crowned world champions, Arif Saif Al Zafeen and Jean-Marc Sanchez driving Victory 77, with Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani and Matteo Nicolini coming home third in Qatar 96.

With the first race start aborted, it was Spirit of Norway who seized the immediate advantage at the restart to lead the first lap ahead of Victory 77 and Qatar 96. Victory 7 made up ground to move into fourth place ahead of Qatar 95 and Negotiator which dropped from fourth at the start to seventh at this stage.

Spirit of Norway stayed ahead until its crew took their long laps, dropping down to second behind Victory 77 but ahead of Qatar 96. This leading trio held station until Victory 77 was forced to take its long lap, allowing Spirit to regain the lead on the 15th circuit before going on to win the 94.18Nm Grand Prix by a wide margin of 31 seconds.

Victory 7 finished fourth ahead of Qatar 95, with Foresti & Suardi completing the list of finishers in sixth. Spirit of Norway 20 hit trouble and retired on the opening lap with Jotun‘s miserable run of bad luck continuing when they stopped on the third along with Fainplast. Negotiator retired five laps later followed by SeveneleveN which pulled out on the 11th.

DUBAI GRAND PRIX – round eight

1. Spirit of Norway 10 – B Gjelsten (NOR)/S Curtis (GB)

2. Victory 77 – A Al Zafeen (UAE)/JM Sanchez (FR)

3. Qatar 96 – H Al Thani (QAT)/M Nicolini (ITA)

4. Victory 7 – T Al Sayed (UAE)/N Hendi (UAE)

5. Qatar 95 – A Al Sulaiti (QAT)/L Nicolini (ITA)

6. Foresti & Suardi 8 – M Pennesi (ITA)/G Montavoci (ITA)

SeveneleveN 18 – Giorgio Manuzzi (ITA)/N Giorgi (ITA) – dnf

Negotiator 50 – B Eker (NOR)/C Parsonage (GB) – dnf

Jotun 90 – C Zaborowski (NOR)/J Tandberg (NOR) – dnf

Fainplast 2 – K Selmer (NOR)/M Esperto (ITA) – dnf

Spirit of Norway 20 – T Barry-Cotter (AUS)/P Nilsen (NOR) – dnf

WPPA CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP – after round eight of eight

1. Victory 77 – A Al Zafeen(UAE)/JM Sanchez (FR) – 144pts

2. Spirit of Norway 10 – B Gjelsten (NOR)/S Curtis (GB) – 118pts

3. Qatar 96 – H Al Thani (QAT)/M Nicolini (ITA) – 112pts

4. Qatar 95 – A Al Sulaiti (QAT)/L Nicolini (ITA) – 75pts

5. Victory 7 – T Al Sayed (UAE)/N Hendi (UAE) – 71pts

6. Negotiator 50 – B Eker (NOR)/C Parsonage (GB) – 51pts

7. Foresti & Suardi 8 – M Pennesi (ITA)/G Montavoci (ITA) – 48pts

8. Spirit of Norway 20 – T Barry-Cotter (AUS)/P Nilsen (NOR) – 38pts

10. SeveneleveN 18 – T Polli (ITA)/N Giorgi (ITA) – 19pts

9. Jotun 90 – C Zaborowski (NOR)/J Tandberg (NOR) 14pts

11. Fainplast 2 – K Selmer (NOR)/M Esperto (ITA) – 12pts