Sail-World.com : UIM Aquabike World Championship - Victory for Zapata in Doha Double
UIM Aquabike World Championship - Victory for Zapata in Doha Double
'UIM Aquabike World Championship'
UIM Aquabike World Championship.*
Franky Zapata, Julie Bulteau and Valerio Calderoni made it two wins out of two to claim overall victories in their respective classes, Runabout, Ski Women’s F1 and Freestyle - to bring to a close a spectacular first ever weekend of UIM World Championship Aquabike racing in the Qatari capital Doha.
Jeremy Poret took his first win of the weekend in Ski Division F1 to add to his second place in heat one on Friday and take an early lead in the championship standings.
Zapata backed-up his number one plate with a second victory in the premier class after another closely-fought tussle with the UAE’s Nadir Bin Hendi, who again had to settle for the runners-up slot, with defending World Champion Cyrille Lemoine carving his way through the field in the closing stages to take the final podium place.
'This is a great day for me, my team and my company,' said a delighted Zapata. 'Bin Hendi is fast and I knew he would lead at the start so I let him go. But my hull is great in the turns and the rough so I just had to be patient. But I knew I would get him later in the race.'
Bin Hendi led from the start with Zapata a close second, ahead of Medori and Mattia Fracasso in third and fourth, but a collision with a buoy on lap five cost Bin Hendi valuable time and allowed Zapata to close and then move into the lead.
Medori and Fracasso held off Cyrille Lemoine to hold third and fourth.
In Ski Division F1, heat 1 winner Jean-Baptiste Botti took an early advantage to lead Jeremy Poret and Christophe Courtois with the trio holding station through lap one.
Botti then edged clear and a superb tussle ensured between Poret and Courtois, with Courtois sneaking through as the trio began to pull away from Spaniard Nachette Armillas.
But Poret kept up the pressure and snatched second from Courtois with a brave overtaking maneuver on lap three and then managed to pass Botti and take the lead a lap later.
By lap seven, Poret had pulled well clear of Courtois, who came under pressure from Armillas, once Botti had slipped out of contention, who in the latter stages of the race grabbed second place.
In Ski Women’s F1, French superstar Julie Bulteau was once again in a class of her own taking her second victory of the weekend on a Rotax-engined Zapata.
The defending champion immediately headed Stefania Balzer and Slovenia’s Pija Sumer in the second heat, and predictably, began to pull well clear as the race progressed.
Behind her a superb duel developed between Sumer and Balzer, with the Slovenian holding a tiny lead through three laps. Italy’s Marta Sorrentino held a distant fourth.
Balzer managed to find her way through into second on lap seven, but Bulteau was in cruise control and went on to record her second win of the weekend and seal a maximum 50-point haul.
In the spectacular Freestyle event, Italian Valerio Calderoni was once again the class act and amassed 481 points for his spectacular and exhausting performance including a variety of triple combinations and nailing a reverse 360 no hands back flip.
Frenchman Romain Stampers and Italy’s Roberto Mariani were awarded second and third positions, with the UAE’s Khaled Al-Qubaisi fourth.
*2011 UIM Aquabike World Championship season-opener, the Qatar Grand Prix in Doha, has 74 competitors from 13 countries participating. Seven titles are up for garbs in this first round of the championship.
Championship events: World Championship 2011 QA Doha Mar, 11th-12th IT Arbatax May, 28th-29th FR Portovecchio Jun, 04th-05th CN Liuzhou Oct, 05th-06th CN TBA Oct, 15th-16th
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