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Sail-World.com : Spirit of Norway wins, Victory 77 grabs title

Spirit of Norway wins, Victory 77 grabs title

'Spirit of Norway. Photo: Class 1 World Powerboats http://www.class-1.com - Scandinavian Grand Prix - Oslo, Norway'   
Spirit of Norway’s Bjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis took their third win of the season in today’s drama-filled Mina Seyahi Grand Prix, but it was Arif Saif Al Zafeen and Jean Marc-Sanchez, who, despite receiving a penalty long-lap for a jump start, grabbed the glory and the headlines, bringing Victory 77 home in fourth place to clinch the 2007 WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championship.

Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Luca Nicolini produced their best result of the season finishing second in Qatar 95, some consolation for the team after Qatar 96 saw their title challenge end on lap 12 when mechanical problems reduced them to a crawl, with Sheikh Hassan and Matteo Nicolini eventually finishing down in ninth place. And there was more podium success for Negotiator’s Chris Parsonage and Bard Eker, finishing third for the second time in as many races.

But not for the first time this season, there was drama right from the start, resulting in penalty long laps being issued to Victory 7 and 77 later in the race. Victory 77 made a spectacular start moving from sixth place on the start line to lead by over seven seconds at the end of lap one, from Negotiator who made moved up from fifth, with the pole sitters Spirit of Norway down to third place. Victory 7 also made up places moving into fourth ahead of both Qatar boats, with Jotun the biggest loser on the opening lap, dropping from second down to eighth place.

Victory 77 stayed out front for the next six laps as the chasing pack exchanged long-laps and positions. On lap 8, Qatar 95 hit the front, only to concede to Spirit of Norway two laps later, with Victory 77 now third, ahead of Qatar 96 and Negotiator. By lap 13 Negotiator was up to third, with Victory paying the price of the penalty lap and down to fourth. The front runners would hold station for the remainder of the race, with Spirit of Norway taking the win and the lead in the Middle East Championship.

Behind the front runners Victory 7 and Spirit of Norway fought over the remaining top six positions, with Victory 7 grabbing the advantage on lap 15. Behind them Foresti&Suardi was battling with steering problems, but came in, in seventh ahead of Fainplast and an ailing Qatar 96 and SeveneleveN. Jotun’s disappointment continued, retiring on lap 7.
With the world title decided, the focus now switches to the Middle East Championship and the final race of the season in Dubai next week. Spirit of Norway’s win puts them two points ahead of Victory 77, with Negotiator now in third place, one point ahead of Qatar 96.

1. Spirit of Norway 10 – B Gjelsten (NOR)/S Curtis (GB)
2. Qatar 95 – A Al Sulaiti (QAT)/L Nicolini (ITA) + 00.08,26
3. Negotiator 50 – B Eker (NOR)/C Parsonage (GB) + 00.34,86
4. Victory 77 – A Al Zafeen (UAE)/JM Sanchez (FR) + 01.38,78
5. Victory 7 – T Al Sayed (UAE)/N B Hendi (UAE) + 2.17,56
6. Spirit of Norway 20 – T Barry-Cotter (AUS)/P Nilsen (NOR) + 1 lap
7. Foresti & Suardi 8 – M Pennesi (ITA)/G Montavoci (ITA) + 1 lap
8. Fainplast 2 – K Selmer (NOR)/G Carpitella (ITA) + 3 laps
9. Qatar 96 – H Al Thani (QAT)/M Nicolini (ITA) + 4 laps
10. SeveneleveN 18 – T Polli (ITA)/N Giorgi (ITA) + 4 laps
Jotun 90 – C Zaborowski (NOR)/J Tandberg (NOR) dnf

1. Victory 77 – A Al Zafeen (UAE)/JM Sanchez (FR) – 127pts
2= Qatar 96 – H Al Thani (QAT)/M Nicolini (ITA) – 96pts
2= Spirit of Norway 10 – B Gjelsten (NOR)/S Curtis (GB) – 96pts
4. Qatar 95 – A Al Sulaiti (QAT)/L Nicolini (ITA) – 64pts
5. Victory 7 – T Al Sayed (UAE)/N B Hendi (UAE) – 62pts
6. Negotiator 50 – B Eker (NOR)/C Parsonage (GB) – 49pts
7. Foresti & Suardi 8 – M Pennesi (ITA)/G Montavoci (ITA) – 39pts
8. Spirit of Norway 20 – T Barry-Cotter (AUS)/P Nilsen (NOR) – 34pts
9. SeveneleveN 18 – T Polli (ITA)/N Giorgi (ITA) – 17pts
10. Jotun 90 – C Zaborowski (NOR)/J Tandberg (NOR) - 14pts
11. Fainplast 2 – K Selmer (NOR)/G Carpitella (ITA) – 8pts

1. Spirit of Norway 10 – B Gjelsten (NOR)/S Curtis (GB) – 43pts
2. Victory 77 – A Al Zafeen (UAE)/JM Sanchez (FR) – 41pts
3. Negotiator 50 – B Eker (NOR)/C Parsonage (GB) – 33pts
4. Qatar 96 – H Al Thani (QAT)/M Nicolini (ITA) – 32pts
5. Qatar 95 – A Al Sulaiti (QAT)/L Nicolini (ITA) – 24pts
6. Foresti & Suardi 8 – M Pennesi (ITA)/G Montavoci (ITA) – 15pts
7. Victory 7 – T Al Sayed (UAE)/N B Hendi (UAE) – 14pts
8. Spirit of Norway 20 – T Barry-Cotter (AUS)/P Nilsen (NOR) – 10pts
9. Jotun 90 – C Zaborowski (NOR)/J Tandberg (NOR) - 5pts
10. Fainplast 2 – K Selmer (NOR)/G Carpitella (ITA) – 3pts
11. SeveneleveN 18 – T Polli (ITA)/N Giorgi (ITA) – 1pts

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9:36 PM Sat 1 Dec 2007 GMT

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