P1: Series SuperSport Sicilian GP preview

A (SEA) HORSE RACE IN POWERBOAT P1 SUPERSPORT The Powerboat P1 World Championship season finale, September 11-13 in Syracuse, Sicily and in SuperSport Class, a scant 28 points separate the top two teams. The title battle comes down to a ...


The Powerboat P1 World Championship season finale, September 11-13 in Syracuse, Sicily and in SuperSport Class, a scant 28 points separate the top two teams. The title battle comes down to a Maltese-built Chaudron against the classic American Donzi. The standings follow:


In first place, the Italian-owned, Ukrainian-sponsored team powered by Ilmor Performance Marine Engines is piloted by P1 veteran Aaron Ciantar of Malta, whose family builds the boat he races. Italian Angelo Tedechsi is two-team Chaudron 2 owner and throttles the boat. He capped a lifetime of racing last year by taking the SuperSport crown and is trying for back-to-back championships in his new boat. Navigator Victor Shemchuk of the Ukraine and serves as the President of that country's Powerboat Federation. The trio took the season-opening Maltese Grand Prix of the Sea when speeding penalties riddled the class. In Turkey the team was penalized for speeding in Sprint competition and finished second in the Endurance race. Seagull Chaudron barely missed the Italian Grand Prix title when a first place Saturday finish and a second on Sunday put them in a points tie with Baia Attolini, which was decided by time in the #38 boat's favor. However, the team has not had a race victory since, and they hold the Championship points lead by a mere 28 points.


Naples, Italy is home to the #2 team and the Baia yacht company that lends its name to it. However its hull and hardware is all American, running a Donzi 38ZR powered by twin Mercury Racing 525s. Pilot Stefano Acanfora, Baia Attolini navigator Roy Capasso, and throttleman Renato Guidi started strong in Malta with two second place finishes, finished second and third in Turkey and then the PowerPole, a second and a first, and captured the Italian Grand Prix of the Sea title. In Sweden, speeding penalties in both races left appeals pending and the team in 4th place.


The third place Nor-Tech 38 Super V with a pair of Mercury Racing 500s is made up of serious Belgian, veteran racers. With 15 years of powerboat competition, throttleman Patrick Huybreghts holds a 2007 Guinness World Record for the fastest crossing of the English Channel. Driver Micha Robijn broke a Channel crossing World Record 17 MASFORCE on water skis during his 10 year professional ski career. And Navigator Marc Sluszny, "The Belgian Superman" is a multi-sport participant and champion winning world titles in both bungee jumping and gliding. They have been consistently in the middle of the pack with podium finishes of third and second in Turkey and Sweden respectively.


Though mathematically out of the running for the Championship, British driver Daniel Cramphorn and throttleman Kim Collins are working t to win the most individual SuperSport races for 2009. Part of the British National Water Ski Team for six years, Cramphorn was no stranger to racing or boats when the team entered Powerboat P1 as a wild card late in the 2008 season and finished with high hopes for 2010. Collins has 15 years of powerboat and race experience, and has owned three Donzis, including the team's new Donzi 38ZR with Arneson drives, which is powered by Sterling Performance Engines. The pair started off in Malta with a victory awarded on other team time penalties and then had a second win stripped for the same reason. The Turkish Grand Prix of the Sea exemplifies SW1 Capital's 2009 season: A win in the PowerPole competition, a mechanical failure in the first race and a convincing checkered flag performance in the second race. In Italy, it was a similar performance, followed by a Scandinavian Grand Prix of the Sea title in Sweden.


Despite sitting fifth with no chance at the title, the team entered the history books just by starting the 2009 Championship season as the only all-female P1 team. British Driver Shelly Jory and Maltese throttler Audrien Ciantar are both P1 veterans. Audrien ran with her brother Aaron during the 2006 season in their family-built Chaudron and Shelly, a Honda series champion, was the first woman P1 Evolution class racer last year when she raced with Nigel Hook. Finishing fifth and third in the opening weekend at Malta the gal-pals made it to the bronze position for the Grand Prix. Their Mercury-powered Chaudron is the second boat in Angelo Tedeschi's Team Racing Project and last year's SuperSport championship boat. The pair took first over their benefactor and brother in the first race at Istanbul when Seagull Chaudron was penalized for time, only to fall victim to the same fate the next day. But the first and fourth place finishes were enough to put them atop the podium for a Turkish Grand Prix of the Sea crown. Despite a third place finish in Italy on day, IKO CASA failed to complete the Endurance race due to a mechanical problem and the team broke a drive beyond repair in Sweden. Regardless, they'll be ready for Sicily.


Another Italian-owned, two-boat team, Al & Al Marine, round out the field in 6th & 7th. BLUE SHAFT's driver, Gianbattista Gabriele, throttleman Federico Montanari and the navigator Alfredo Zanardo has kept their Shipworks hull powered by a pair of MerCruiser 6-cylinder, turbo charged diesels ahead of their bosses, Alfredo Nuzzo and Alfredo Amato, the Naples-based owners of the shipyard the bears their nick names and builds their race hulls.

This Blue Shaft 28 with twin Mercury's is in its second Powerboat P1 season, having won the Spanish Grand Prix of the Sea in 2008. Big Sergio pays homage to legendary Italian powerboat racer Sergio Carpentieri, who sadly lost his life during the 2007 Powerboat Grand Prix of Germany.

The conclusion to the 2009 Powerboat P1 World Championship season takes place on the Sicilian coastal town of Siracusa September 11 - 13. Live racing action and a pre-race show can be heard worldwide on Powerboat P1 Radio (www.p1radio.com) . For race times and complete information leading up to the Sicilian Grand Prix of the Sea visit www.powerboatp1.com

-credit: p1

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Series Boat
Drivers Nigel Hook