Seven in a row for Spirit of Norway

Raffaello Bastiani ©WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championship
Today’s seventh and final round of the 2007 Class 1 Edox Pole Position Championship produced a nail-biting finale, with Spirit of Norway’s Bjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis producing a scintillating lap to set the fastest time and maintain their unbeaten run, taking their seventh win of the season. The battle for the runners-up slot went down to the very last run of the 75-minute session, with Victory 77’s Arif Al Zafeen and Jean-Marc Sanchez producing their best lap to go second quickest to edge out Sheikh Hassan and Matteo Nicolini in Qatar 96.

Spirit of Norway set the pace on their opening lap with a time of 2m 31.84s, which looked to be good enough to take the win, with their main rivals, Victory 77 and Qatar 96, failing to match it on their opening laps, going second and third quickest. Chris Parsonage and Bard Eker then put Negotiator into third place on their first run, posting 2m 34.57s, but immediately improved on their second lap to grab second spot with 2m 32.10s. Both Victory 77 and Qatar 96 went again, with Victory 77 improving and matching Spirit of Norway’s 2m 31.84s, but then saw Qatar 96 snatch the provisional pole with 2m 31.51s, forcing the Edox Pole Position Champions to go again, with Spirit of Norway knocking three seconds off their own time to grab back the provisional pole with 2m 27.98s. Victory 77’s final run failed to trouble Spirit of Norway but 2m 29.89s was good enough for second in qualifying and second overall in the Edox Pole Position Championship, with Qatar 96 relegated to third place. Negotiator finished the quickest of the V8 runners in fourth place, with Jotun and Victory 7 completing the top six.

Today’s result sets up a mouth watering prospect for tomorrow’s Dubai Grand Prix, the final race of the season, with the four boats still in with a shot at lifting the WPPA Class 1 Middle East Championship lining up beside each other and separated by just 11 points - with Spirit of Norway and Qatar 96, who are currently tied in second place in the overall world championship standings on 96 points, starting with the newly crowned World Champions, Victory 77, between them!

EDOX POLE POSITION – round 7
1. Spirit of Norway 10 – B Gjelsten (NOR)/S Curtis (GB) – 2m 27.98s
2. Victory 77 – A Al Zafeen(UAE)/JM Sanchez (FR) – 2m 29.89s
3. Qatar 96 – H Al Thani (QAT)/M Nicolini (ITA) – 2m 31.51s
4. Negotiator 50 – B Eker (NOR)/C Parsonage (GB) – 2m 32.10s
5. Jotun 90 – C Zaborowski (NOR)/J Tandberg (NOR) – 2m 32.48s
6. Victory 7 – T Al Sayed (UAE)/N Hendi (UAE) – 2m 33.14s
7. Qatar 95 – A Al Sulaiti (QAT)/L Nicolini (ITA) – 2m 35.32s
8. Spirit of Norway 20 – T Barry-Cotter (AUS)/P Nilsen (NOR) – 2m 42.17s
9. Foresti & Suardi 8 – M Pennesi (ITA)/G Montavoci (ITA) – 2m 46.12s
10. Fainplast 2 – K Selmer (NOR)/M Esperto (ITA) – 2m 55.06s
11. SeveneleveN 18 – G Manuzzi (ITA)/N Giorgi (ITA) – 3m 10.06s

EDOX POLE POSITION CHAMPIONSHIP – after round 7 of 7
1. Spirit of Norway 10 – B Gjelsten (NOR)/S Curtis (GB) – 140pts
2. Victory 77 – A Al Zafeen(UAE)/JM Sanchez (FR) – 78pts
3. Qatar 96 – H Al Thani (QAT)/M Nicolini (ITA) – 73pts
4. Jotun 90 – C Zaborowski (NOR)/J Tandberg (NOR) 65pts
5. Victory 7 – A Al Sayed (UAE)/N Hendi (UAE) – 58pts
6. Qatar 95 – A Al Sulaiti (QAT)/L Nicolini (ITA) – 45pts
7. Negotiator 50 – B Eker (NOR)/C Parsonage (GB) – 28pts
7. Spirit of Norway 20 – T Barry-Cotter (AUS)/P Nilsen (NOR) – 24pts
8. Foresti & Suardi 8 – M Pennesi (ITA)/G Montavoci (ITA) – 22pts
10. SeveneleveN 18 – T Polli (ITA)/N Giorgi (ITA) – 7pts
11. Fainplast 2 – K Selmer (NOR)/M Esperto (ITA) – 5pts

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