Bjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis achieve their third win of the season

Bjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis took their third win of the season in Saturday’s drama-filled Mina Seyahi Grand Prix, but it was Arif Saif Al Zafeen and Jean Marc-Sanchez driving Victory 77 who, despite receiving a penalty long-lap for a jumping the start and finishing fourth, still secured the 2007 WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championship.

Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Luca Nicolini produced their best result of the season with a second place in Qatar 95. This was some consolation for the team after Qatar 96 saw its title challenge end on the 12th lap when mechanical problems reduced Sheikh Hassan and Matteo Nicolini to a crawl, eventually finishing ninth. And there was more podium success for Negotiator‘s Chris Parsonage and Bard Eker who came third for the second time in as many races.

The event saw drama from the start with penalty long laps being given against Victory 7 and 77 later in the race. Victory 77 made a spectacular start moving from sixth at the start to lead by over seven seconds at the end of first lap. Negotiator moved up from fifth, with the pole sitter Spirit of Norway down in third place. Victory 7 also moved ahead into fourth in front of both Qatar boats Jotun being the biggest loser dropping from second down to eighth place.

Victory 77 stayed out front for the next six laps as the chasing pack exchanged long-laps and positions. Qatar 95 hit the front on lap eight only to concede to Spirit of Norway two laps later with Victory 77 third ahead of Qatar 96 and Negotiator. By the 13th lap Negotiator had taken third place with Victory 77 paying the price of the penalty lap and down to fourth.

The front runners would hold station for the remainder of the race, with Spirit of Norway taking the win and the lead in the Middle East Championship.

Behind the front runners Victory 7 and Spirit of Norway fought over the remaining top six positions with Victory 7 grabbing the advantage on lap 15. Behind them Foresti&Suardi was battling with steering problems but finished seventh ahead of Fainplast and an ailing Qatar 96 and SeveneleveN. Jotun eventually retired on the seventh lap.

With the world title decided, the focus now switches to the Middle East Championship and the final race of the season in Dubai next week. Spirit of Norway‘s win puts it two points ahead of Victory 77, with Negotiator now in third place one point ahead of Qatar 96.

MINA SEYAHI GRAND PRIX – results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Fainplast 2 – K Selmer (NOR)/G Carpitella (ITA) 3 laps

9. Qatar 96 – H Al Thani (QAT)/M Nicolini (ITA) 4 laps

10. SeveneleveN 18 – T Polli (ITA)/N Giorgi (ITA) 4 laps

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

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

1. Victory 77 – A Al Zafeen (UAE)/JM Sanchez (FR) – 127pts

2= Qatar 96 – H Al Thani (QAT)/M Nicolini (ITA) – 96pts

2= Spirit of Norway 10 – B Gjelsten (NOR)/S Curtis (GB) – 96pts

4. Qatar 95 – A Al Sulaiti (QAT)/L Nicolini (ITA) – 64pts

5. Victory 7 – T Al Sayed (UAE)/N B Hendi (UAE) – 62pts

6. Negotiator 50 – B Eker (NOR)/C Parsonage (GB) – 49pts

7. Foresti & Suardi 8 – M Pennesi (ITA)/G Montavoci (ITA) – 39pts

8. Spirit of Norway 20 – T Barry-Cotter (AUS)/P Nilsen (NOR) – 34pts

9. SeveneleveN 18 – T Polli (ITA)/N Giorgi (ITA) – 17pts

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

11. Fainplast 2 – K Selmer (NOR)/G Carpitella (ITA) – 8pts

WPPA CLASS 1 MIDDLE EAST CHAMPIONSHIP – after round three of four

1. Spirit of Norway 10 – B Gjelsten (NOR)/S Curtis (GB) – 43pts

2. Victory 77 – A Al Zafeen (UAE)/JM Sanchez (FR) – 41pts

3. Negotiator 50 – B Eker (NOR)/C Parsonage (GB) – 33pts

4. Qatar 96 – H Al Thani (QAT)/M Nicolini (ITA) – 32pts

5. Qatar 95 – A Al Sulaiti (QAT)/L Nicolini (ITA) – 24pts

6. Foresti & Suardi 8 – M Pennesi (ITA)/G Montavoci (ITA) – 15pts

7. Victory 7 – T Al Sayed (UAE)/N B Hendi (UAE) – 14pts

8. Spirit of Norway 20 – T Barry-Cotter (AUS)/P Nilsen (NOR) – 10pts

9. Jotun 90 – C Zaborowski (NOR)/J Tandberg (NOR) – 5pts

10. Fainplast 2 – K Selmer (NOR)/G Carpitella (ITA) – 3pts

11. SeveneleveN 18 – T Polli (ITA)/N Giorgi (ITA) – 1pts