In an unprecedented move by UIM permanent Commissioner Richard Ridout to apply a specific ruling following an incident filled German Grand Prix in Travemunde on July 1
In an unprecedented move by UIM permanent Commissioner Richard Ridout to apply a specific ruling following an incident filled German Grand Prix in Travemunde on July 1, Erik Kirkedelen and Massimo Lippi driving Jolly Motor and Ali Nasser and Ali Al Qama in Victory 1, were awarded equal first overall finishing position and points.
“The rules are very clear. If there is an accident the first boat to arrive on the scene has a mandatory obligation to stop. Its crew must offer assistance.” he said. “Therefore, as an incentive, this help is acknowledged. The assisting crew is allocated the overall position held at the time of the accident. Victory 1 was in second place when the accident occurred but had moved into the lead by the time it stopped. Therefore the first boat crossing finishing line shares the winning position and maximum points.”
The incident that brought about this move was a crash on the sixth lap involving Bjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis aboard the leading Spirit of Norway.
“There we were men out with the boys and I came back a boy.” said Curtis as he surveyed the damage with Gjelsten adding: “We were airborne for a long time which is a good indication that something was going to happen. We landed heavily on the starboard quarter and then she stuffed the port bow.”
It was the second major incident of the race, the first involving the Seatek powered Highlander of Edoardo Polli and nephew Tomaso – returning to Class 1 competition after a two year break. “Thankfully we are both in one piece,” said Polli. “These things can happen if you push it hard and we did. I don’t think we were in any real danger. There was a choppy sea and a strong wind and the boat simply went up and came down the wrong way.”
The Norwegian entered Jotun driven by Andreas Ugland was just behind Highlander when the crash happened. “We almost drove over Edoardo’s boat but managed to avoid it. We were very lucky. Sea conditions surprised everyone. Poor Edoardo was first to the corner and that’s why he rolled.”
Following Highlander’s departure, Gjelsten and Curtis appeared to be controlling the race with both Victory 1 and Victory 7 close behind and then the crash happened.
Ali Nasser and Ali Al Qama’s sporting decision to stop, knowing the move would more than likely cost them the race was justly rewarded. “I opened the hatch and got out to see if they were OK and thankfully Steve waved us on.” said Ali Nasser.
With Victory 1 attending to the stricken Spirit of Norway, Jolly Motor swept into the lead after moving up from sixth place at the end of the first lap. For the next six laps Eric Kirkedelen held off a determined challenge from both Victory crews. ” Max and I were so hungry for a win and today we did it. I am particularly happy for my co-driver. It was Massimo’s 50th Grand Prix and hence it’s a great occasion.” said Kirkedelen.
The unscheduled stop had cost Victory 1 almost a minute but they returned to the race, overhauling their team-mates on ninth lap before chasing after the leading, Jolly Motor. Lap by lap they reduced the deficit and by the time they crossed the finish line were a mere six seconds behind.
Further astern a race long battle ensued between World Of Cars of Ken Thorne, Damas driven by Kristian Tzanov and Jotun. The trio swapped positions throughout with Damas eventually winning the battle for fourth place ahead of World Of Cars and Jotun.
World Class I Offshore Championship
Positions after three rounds:
1. A.Nasser/A.Qama (UAE) 35pts
2. S.Al Tayer/M.Al Marri (UAE) 32pts
3. E.Kirkedelen/M.Lippi (Nor/Ita) 27pts
4. K.Thorne/M.Nicolini (GB/Ita) 19pts
5. K.Tzanov/V.Polli (UAE/Ita) 18pts
6. A.Ugland/J.Hillestad (Nor) 13pts