The Victory Team from the United Arab Emirates won the British Powerboat Grand Prix at Plymouth on July 27 relegating Britain's Steve Curtis to second place
The Victory Team from the United Arab Emirates won the British Powerboat Grand Prix at Plymouth on July 27 relegating Britain’s Steve Curtis to second place. It was the first success seen by Victory this season and one apparently achieved with ease.
Their closest challenge came from the Anglo/Norweigian pairing of Steve Curtis and Bjorn Gjelsten driving Spirit of Norway. Despite worsening sea conditions the defending world champions hung on in second place throughout the 19-lap contest in Plymouth Sound to collect 15 vital championship points.
Italian veteran Edoardo Polli driving Highlander took the opening lead – last year’s Spirit of Norway – but it was thought he jumped the start so restricting the way ahead for Curtis and Gjelsten. His ploy gained little. Polli missed a vital course marker on the fourth lap before falling back with mechanical problems.
Victory 7, driven by Ali Al Qama and Ahmed Al Tayer quickly passed Spirit of Norway to cement itself in lead slot. It then moved further ahead until it had established a gap of 15 seconds (almost a mile) over the rest by the halfway stage.
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Australian Bill Barry-Cotter and Peter McGrath from New Zealand lay third in Maritimo. They were also unable to make any impression on the leading pair. The second Victory Team boat, Victory 77, driven by three-time world offshore champion, Saeed Al Tayer and Mohammed Al Marri, filled fourth slot boxing in its team’s two main contenders.
Conditions on the seaward side of the breakwater began to deteriorate as the race drew to a close but this seemed to have little effect on Victory 7. By now it was almost half a mile ahead of the fleet.
The many hundreds of spectators on Plymouth Hoe gave a loud cheer as it took the winning flag but Spirit of Norway managed to maintain a second position to the end.
Added to their earlier score, the 15 points for finishing second gives Curtis and Gjelsten a total of 55 points in the championship: 20 points ahead of the UAE winners with five rounds remaining.