Rain may have brought an early end to proceedings in this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix of the Sea, but nobody could damped the spirits of this year’s Evolution and SuperSport title winners as they were officially crowned and awarded with their championship trophies at the final podium ceremony of the season.
The #99 Fountain World wide team receive their 2008 championship trophy
Throttleman Angelo Tedeschi and pilot Aaron Ciantar have brought new meaning to the word ‘dominance’ in the SuperSport class, taking victory in all but one race in their Racing Project-run #44 Conam Yachts boat. The Mercury-powered Chaudron hull has proved unbeatable and unbreakable in the production-based series, and Tedeschi’s second title and Ciantar’s first are undoubtedly well deserved – especially with a astounding points tally of 1150 points.
The #07 Microlink PC VoomVoom.com team were confirmed as the second-place championship finishers, narrowly pipping the #38 Baia High Performance OSG Racing team with a tally of 670 points to the Italian outfit’s 650 points.
The increased competition in the Evolution class this year meant that pilot James Sheppard and throttleman Craig Wilson were set for a tough job to defend their title from an astonishing rookie season in 2007, but no-one predicted just how hard they’d have to work. After four wins in the first two events of the year, they’ve had to fight to maintain their points lead as they bid to retain their crown in the Imor-powered #99 Fountain Worldwide 1st4boats.com entry.
But, fight they did and third place in yesterday’s Portuguese Grand Prix of the Sea means they’re the first team to successfully score back-to-back Evolution class titles with a grand total of 780 points. The #60 GFN Gibellato team have been confirmed as second-place finishers in the championship chase with 630 points to #88 Kiton Outerlimits’ 580 points.
The bronze and cherry-wood sculptures that both teams were awarded at the ceremony are the work of celebrated Italian artist Andreas Perathoner, whose sculptures feature in a number of private collections throughout Europe. Perathoner has also created trophies for a variety of other sports, including the Superbike motorcycle world championship.
Each trophy consists of two pieces: an elegant bronze powerboat and a cherry-wood base carved to represent the sea. Perathoner sculpted the original boat designs in wood, which were then sent to a leading Italian foundry in Bologna, where they were cast in bronze.
The #44 Conam Yachts team receive their 2008 Super Sport championship trophy
After the champions were awarded their trophies, all the teams in both the SuperSport and Evolution classes – who are the true lifeblood of the championship were invited onto the stage to join the festivities. Then the end-of-season celebrations could really begin!