With the new Edox Pole Position cancelled teams were given a 90-minute, free practice session

With the new format for the Edox Pole Position cancelled due to technical restrictions and the course revised to run anticlockwise, the teams were given an open, 90-minute, free practice session to familiarise themselves with the course and post times yesterday to determine the line-up for today’s Greek Grand Prix.

Jotun and both Qatar boats led the fleet out onto the water, with the Norwegians, Jorn Tandberg and Christian Zaborowski setting the early pace, posting a time of 2mins 36.18secs around the 4.5Nm course on Palaio Faliro Bay. But their provisional ‘pole’ appeared to be short-lived when their time was eclipsed by defending champions, Spirit of Norway 10, going almost four seconds quicker in 2mins 32.14secs. Thinking they had done enough Gjelsten and Curtis watched to see if their time could be bettered. It was. Jotun went back out after pitting to change propellers and gear ratios to set a blistering time of 2mins 30.50secs and regain the ‘pole’. Spirit of Norway responded, but an uncharacteristic mistake by the champions, missing a turn mark, cost them dearly and despite improving on their first timed run, it was not good enough to overhaul Tandberg and Zaborowski.

“The boat ran very well and after the first runs we changed the propeller and gear ratios and this made a big improvement, but I feel we are still missing a little in performance and think we can find more on race day.” said Zaborowski. Curtis however was far from impressed with their own performance.
“We messed up – simple as that! It was very windy and the boat was moving around a lot and we just lost it when we went out for the second time. That’s all I can tell you.”

Victory 7‘s Nadir bin Hendi and Ahmed Al Suwaidi continued their impressive form, going third quickest in the session ahead of Qatar 96 and 95 with Chris Parsonage and Bard Eker producing a solid first run in Negotiator with the Sterling V8s to complete the top six.