Despite finishing second in the sixth round of the UIM world offshore championship off Fujarirah on September 27, Britain’s Steve Curtis aboard Spirit of Norway added a further 15 points to his overall championship
Despite finishing second in the sixth round of the UIM world offshore championship off Fujarirah on September 27, Britain’s Steve Curtis aboard Spirit of Norway added a further 15 points to his overall championship score of 107 points. Together with Norwegian Bjorn Gjelsten the pair now lay 22 points ahead of Ali Nasser and Ali Al Qama of the UAE who won the race in Victory 7.
With seas running between two and three meters and an outside temperature of almost 40 degrees, Victory 7 led much of the multi-8.1 mile lap contest after leaving Spirit of Norway in sixth place at the start. Although Gjelsten and Curtis won the previous four consecutive rounds in the series they couldn’t catch the flying UAE leaders. By contrast Victory 1 driven by defending world champions Saeed Al Tayer and Mohammed Al Marri were less lucky. A throttle cable parted on the second lap and despite their mechanics making a quick repair were unable to finish the distance.
The heavier diesel powered Jotun of Jann Hillestad and Staffan Roth made easy work of the rough weather to finish third.
Highlander, another heavyweight diesel outfit driven by Italian veteran Edoardo Polli and film producer Renny Harlin, scored its best result of the season. It filled second slot on the first 8.1 mile lap before being gradually overtaken to eventually finish a respectable fourth.
With two rounds remaining, the Curtis/Gjelsten duo only need to finish third in the penultimate race to secure the 2002 world title regardless of their performance in the final.
The penultimate round, the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix, takes place on October 9 – 11.
World Class I Offshore Championship positions after six rounds:
1. B.Gjelsten/S.Curtis (Nor/GB) 107 pts
2. A Nasser/A. Al Qama (UAE) 85 pts
3. B.Barry-Cotter/P. McGrath (Aust) 58 pts
4. S.Al Tayer/M. Al Marri (UAE) 57 pts
5. A.Ugland/J.Hillested (Nor) 31 pts
6. G.Montavoci/T.Polli (Italy) 26 pts