Gelsten and Curtis collect Time Trial honours

Spirit of Norway takes 2001 TT title while Ugland's hastily repaired Jotun finishes a close second despite "no practice, no instrumentation, no trim"

Norwegian Bjorn Rune Gjelsten with Britain’s Steve Curtis aboard Spirit of Norway are the new world time trial champions after setting the fastest speed in the in a closely fought final round of the series in Dubai on Thursday 1 November. But it was a close run result.

In extremely rough sea conditions with swells up to two metres, Gjelsten and Curtis collected their second Time Trial award in two weeks with a winning lap time of 2mins 23.85secs on their first run. Fellow Norwegian Andreas Ugland and Jann Hillestad returned a very high performance in the diesel powered Jotun to set the second fastest performance with Victory 1, a member of the all conquering locally based Victory Team driven by Ali Nasser, third.

An excited Bjorn Rune Gjelsten said; “Our set up was good. We ran small props and managed to keep the boat well trimmed. We got a good run on the first lap but we had no idea about Jotun. It was a great result for them.”

After a major fire all but destroyed Jotun during the Fujairah Grand Prix, attention focused on the Norwegian team, from Arendal. They came onto the water with only minutes to spare just in time, before setting the fastest lap of 2mins 23.96secs.

“I didn’t expect that today,” said an excited Andreas Ugland. “We had no time to practice, no instrumentation, no trim so we gambled a little on the set-up and just went out and did our best. We chose short propellers because of the extremely rough condition which gave us good acceleration. It was a great way to thank my team for all their hard work after the fire.”

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After an instrument problem forced Victory 1 to retire after only two runs, Ali Nasser and Ali Al Qama had to settle for third place with their best time of 2mins 24.12secs. Victory team mates Saeed Al Tayer and Mohammed Al Marri finished fourth.


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