An over enthusiastic spectator boat hiding a vital course marker during the Plymouth Grand Prix on July 29 ruined any hopes Britain's Steve Curtis may have had of winning the world offshore title

An over enthusiastic spectator boat hiding a vital course marker during the Plymouth Grand Prix on July 29 ruined any hopes Britain’s Steve Curtis may have had of winning the world offshore title for a record fourth time.

Driving Spirit of Norway (Tencara/Lamborghini) alongside its Norwegian owner Bjorn Gjelsten, the pair led from the start but slipped back to third after having to retaking the mark. The two-boat Victory Team from Dubai, their two closest rivals in the World Series, took full advantage of the error and immediately took the lead.

Saeed Al Tayer and Mohammed Al Marri driving Victory 7 (Victory/Lamborghini) and Ali Nasser with Ali Al Quma lying second in Victory 1 (Victory/Lamborghini) regularly touched speeds of 150mph as they raced round a flat calm Plymouth Sound. But with a tight course made up of 14 nine mile laps, the tightest on the international calendar, there was simply no opportunity for Curtis and Gjelsten to make good using tactics.

“There was nothing we could do,” said a disappointed Steve Curtis. “Although we did begin to narrow their lead in the closing stages.” The resulting 12 points gives the Curtis/Gjelsten duo a total score of 32 points against the 72 now held by Saeed Al Tayer and his crew. With only four confirmed rounds to run the way ahead now looks set for the Victory Team to collect yet another world title. World Class I (16 litre) Offshore Championship.

Round 5. Plymouth Grand Prix

Results:

1. Victory 7 S.Al Tayer/M.Al Marri (UAE) (Victory/Lamborghini) 20pts

2. Victory 1 A.Nasser/A. Al Qama (UAE) (Victory/Lamborghini) 15pts

3. Spirit of Norway B.Gjelsten/S.Curtis (Nor/GB) (Tencara/Lamborghini) 12pts

Championship positions after five rounds:

1. S.Al Tayer/M.Al Marri (UAE) 72pts

2. A.Nasser/A.Al Qama (UAE) 65pts

3. E.Kirkedelen/M.Lippi (Nor/Ita) 48pts

4. B.Gjelsten/S.Curtis (Nor/GB) 32pts

5. K.Tzanov/V.Polli (Bul/Ita) 23pts

6. A.Ugland/J.Hillstad (Nor) 19pts