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Almost 10 years ago..............Americans win Offshore races in Norway.

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Old 04-08-2009, 09:27 AM
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Default Almost 10 years ago..............Americans win Offshore races in Norway.

Round 3 – Norwegian Grand Prix – Arendal

AMERICANS WIN BATTLE OF CONTINENTS IN NORWAY
* US challenger Alcone, beats the cream of the World’s Class 1 boats in Arendal *

* Championship leaders’ boat disintegrates in 100mph test crash *

* Jolly Motor takes 20 points as Victory 7 moves to top of World Championship *
================================
The battle for the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship was thrown wide open at a truly dramatic Norwegian Grand Prix in Arendal today, when Championship leaders, Mohamed Al Ghaith and Khalfan Harib escaped injury, during an horrific 100mph testing crash in unpredictable rough seas.

Thankfully however, the UAE pairing, who until today had enjoyed a 100% victory record this season, were left unharmed by this morning’s high-speed incident, during which 40% of their carbon composite Victory 4 boat disintegrated upon impact with a large wave.

"We had finished testing and were happy with the results," said 41 year-old throttleman Harib back on dry land, but still drenched in salt water. "At buoy C we decided to turn back and were running into the head sea at about 100mph when we just took off. We hit a big wave – we didn’t see it coming – and went very, very high. As the boat came back down, the back end caught a wave and we stuffed the boat. We went very deep and the escape hatch in the hull was opened by the impact, but we managed to get out of the boat unaided and the safety team was immediately on the scene," he added.

Although shaken by the incident, Harib still managed to see the lighter side of the crash, which consequently resulted in Victory 4 losing the Championship lead to team-mates Ali Nasser and Randy Scism in Victory 7. "The strange thing is that the crash happened very close to where Saeed (Al Tayer) and Felix (Serralles) had their boat fire and sank last year. Maybe we should rename it the Arendal Triangle," he joked.

Meanwhile, former American ‘World’ Champions and guest competitors Matt Alcone and Jerry Gilbreath in US1, were victorious in the battle of the continents, winning the race with a faultless display of speed, despite Norwegian Bjorn Rune Gjelsten in Spirit of Norway taking an early lead on lap two, to the delight of a huge partisan crowd.

Gjelsten and English throttleman, Steve Curtis were sadly forced to retire on lap two when they detonated an engine, but Norse pride was restored somewhat when local hero Andreas Ugland and throttleman Jann Hillestad brought Jotun home in a creditable fourth place.

However, despite the strong Norwegian challenge and the American invitees taking the honours on the day, it was second placed Leonardo Polli and Jim Dyke in Jolly Motor who score a maximum twenty points to move them up to third place in the World Championship standings.

"These guys race really hard," said a delighted Matt Alcone after the race. "This is a competitive group and a real gruelling course. I’ve never seen a course that rough on the outside and this smooth on the inside, but you gotta do what you gotta do when you’re a racer and I’ve got a great throttleman. Once we saw we could stay with them in the rough and we could pull them in, in the smooth, it was a question of just holding the boat together," added the 46 year-old from Irvine, California.

Despite not winning the race proper, Leonardo Polli professed to being equally pleased with his twenty Championship points. "It was pretty tough out there, with waves over six feet on the outside and a strong cross wind on the inside section that made the boat skate and slide, particularly on the last few laps. We had a drop in revs on the second lap, so we stopped to check if everything was OK, but couldn’t find the fault, so we continued with no further problems," added the 37 year-old.

Meanwhile, new Championship leader Randy Scism was understandably delighted with the performance of the team’s new Seatek diesel powered Victory 7 boat. "We’re real pleased of course. It’s a new boat and there are a few little bugs to sort out, but we’re real pleased with it first time out," he said. "We had a steering problem that meant we couldn’t run over 102mph in the fjord, but we did well to make up time in the open sea despite the fact that it was hard to keep the nose up in the 4-6 foot waves."

The cream of the World’s Class 1 teams now move on to Oslo, for next Sunday’s Scandinavian Grand Prix (25 July), where more than a few boats will be hoping to restore some European pride by proving that the American challenger is not invincible.
========================


Cool stuff........ran across a 10 year old website from back then.

See link buttons on left.
http://www.class1.worldoffshore.com/news.htm

Has the American racing scene changed since then or what?
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:51 AM
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I guess I am in my own little world of cool-ness. I was always VERY impressed that Matt Alcone grabbed his equipment and brought it there to race. Can you imagine the absolute planning and customs nightmare bringing a vessel and tow vehicle there, spare engines, high octane fuel.....parts, people.....you name it! PLUS, they let him race! Can you imagine one of the UIM racers coming over here and doing that? (not sure if they have) Especially if they run in one of Reggie's sponsored races.
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by PhantomChaos View Post
I guess I am in my own little world of cool-ness. I was always VERY impressed that Matt Alcone grabbed his equipment and brought it there to race. Can you imagine the absolute planning and customs nightmare bringing a vessel and tow vehicle there, spare engines, high octane fuel.....parts, people.....you name it! PLUS, they let him race! Can you imagine one of the UIM racers coming over here and doing that? (not sure if they have) Especially if they run in one of Reggie's sponsored races.
Boats from over seas (racing UIM) have raced in Key West for the worlds in the past (there's pictures floating around here somehwere).

And yea, I hear custom and mostly transportation once you're there is a nightmare. Alcone set the recent stage for Fountain, Hustler, Outterlimits, Dragon, etc to do it now (Except Arronow was doing it in the 70's).

Good seeing you this weekend Nort. Jake looks great.
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