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Tom Pinsard has produced a film of the event held on Guernsey
SBI Clearwater race is taken by Robert Nobel and Mark Kowalski in Team Stihl
Ivan Brigada took the UIM F2 European Championship title with one heat to spare
Alan Priddy will this week launch a £2.9 million round the world record bid in a new Eco-boat
Lundin takes heat one.
One of our oldest and richest readers Tony Davis sent us this shot

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01-Oct-14 09:46
Tom Pinsard has produced a film of the event held on Guernsey
John Moore

29-Sep-14 08:17
SBI Clearwater race is taken by Robert Nobel and Mark Kowalski in Team Stihl
John Moore

Qatari Ali Al-Neama and American throttleman Billy Moore

Article: Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services

Qatari Ali Al-Neama and American throttleman Billy Moore made a sensational start to the Superboat race at the 6th Annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship in Florida on Sunday. 

The Spirit of Qatar 20 crew held off series leader Team Stihl through the opening lap and were holding the inside line and the advantage at the start of the second lap when the boat dug in, somersaulted and spelt the end of a superb challenge for honours for the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF)-backed duo. The Superboat race win and the championship title fell to Robert Nobel and Mark Kowalski in Team Stihl, who maintained their lead to the finish of the 19-lap race.

His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and British throttleman Steve Curtis had planned to run Spirit of Qatar 613 in the Superboat Unlimited class and renew their rivalry with Marc Granet and Scott Begovich in Miss Geico. But technical problems plagued the team after testing and 613 was not able to take the start. 

“We had an electrical sensor problem that we could not resolve on Saturday,” confirmed a senior Spirit of Qatar team technician. “So we changed it on Saturday night, but the engine we put in cracked an exhaust manifold in the test on Sunday morning, which allowed water into the engine. We changed it and found that the engine had locked up.”

Three races were on the agenda for this year’s Clearwater weekend. Superboat Unlimited and Superboat Extreme entrants slotted into race two after the opening race for the P3, P4 and Superboat Vee classes and there was a third stand-alone race for Superboats.

Race 2

The Spirit of Qatar Team made a change to the planned line-up and Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis lined up in Spirit of Qatar 613 to renew their rivalry with Marc Granet and Scott Begovich in Miss Geico in the Superboat Unlimited class. Extreme and Superboat Stock boats completed the line-up. 

The Unlimited boats were due to run 19 laps and a total of 76 miles, but Spirit of Qatar 613 was not able to make the start after earlier technical problems and Granet and Begovich were left to take the lead without the Qatar challenge. Lucas Oil Silverhook, Twisted Metal and Instigator offered token competition in the Unlimited and Extreme classes. 

But there was no stopping Miss Geico and Granet and Begovich cruised to the chequered flag unchallenged to seal the win.

Race 3

Al-Neama and Moore lined up in the Superboat race at the helm of Spirit of Qatar 20 alongside Broadco, Team Stihl, Warpaint, Cleveland Construction and Autonation Racing for Cancer. WHM Motorsports suffered engine damage in testing and was not able to make the race. 

Nineteen laps lay ahead on the four-mile course and Al-Neama and Moore made a superb start to lead through the opening turn from Team Stihl and Autonation Racing for Cancer. The leading two boats edged away from the chasing quartet and Al-Neama and Moore held the inside line into the right turn at the end of lap one, only for the boat to flip sideways into a barrel roll and land right-side-up on the inside of the corner. The incident opened the door for Robert Nobel and Mark Kowalski to move comfortably clear in Team Stihl. 

Team Stihl was never troubled from then on and reached the chequered flag well clear of a charging Broadco’s Chuck Broaddus and Grant Bruggemann and the third-placed Autonation Racing for Cancer crew of Jeff Bentley and Randy Sweers.

The next outing for the Spirit of Qatar Team in the United States will be the all-important Key West World Championships in Florida at the start of November.

29-Sep-14 07:46
Ivan Brigada took the UIM F2 European Championship title with one heat to spare
Chris Davies

Owen Jelf flips in the 2nd heat of the F2 European Championship - Photo: Chris Davies

For a driver that hasn’t raced a boat fitted with an outboard engine since 2011, Ivan Brigada showed that he certainly hasn’t lost any of his boat handling flair when he took the UIM F2 European Championship title with one heat to spare.

Much to the delight of the huge crowds gathered around the lakeside, all enjoying the warm autumnal sunshine, Brigada set about his hunt for the title with renewed vigour after the BaBa team had spent the night fine tuning the balance of their latest creation.

During heat one he felt that they had chosen the wrong propeller, so for the early morning free practice they changed it to a smaller one which totally transformed the boat. “We knew that using a smaller prop would cost us top end speed” said Brigada “but on this short course it’s all about acceleration.” It was a move that would soon pay dividends because he comfortably took heat two though it would take a restart to complete the race. As the seventeen drivers headed for the demarcation buoy Owen Jelf and Erik Edin both made superb starts and shot off into the lead. It would prove to be short lived though as they both hit the wash of one of the local ferries and took off. “We just didn’t see it soon enough” said Jelf “it must have been one maybe two metres high, for both of us to crash out it must have been huge.” Although the damage to Jelf’s BaBa hull was superficial the team didn’t have the right spare parts so Jelf’s weekend was over. Edin was slightly more fortunate as his damage Molgaard was repaired.

As the remaining drivers lined up for the heat two restart, their number had dropped, as both Stahl and Temper had returned to the pits with minor damage. Once again Brigada took the lead and he was quickly followed by David Del Pin. Pierre Lundin, the heat one winner, had struggled to get off the line. “The engine just didn’t start” said the Swede. “Afterwards we checked the Efi box and it was ok, so we are still looking to find the problem.” To his relief he still managed to finish third but stood no chance of catching the two Italians in front of him.

Heat three would produce the same result, so it would all come down to the fourth and final one. Once again the drivers were held on the start pontoon as the officials were now very wary of the wash being created by the passing local traffic, something they had no control over. As the red start lights went out Tomas Cermak suddenly found himself in the lead much too the delight of the local I-Boat sponsors. Try as he might he was unable to hold off Lundin and Del Pin, so opted for a safe third place. Also taking the safety first route was Brigada. “The team had told me that I had done enough to take the title before the heat had started but I wanted to go out there to show some respect to my fellow competitors and to the race organiser. I took the cautious approach at the start as I knew the water was rough and I didn’t want to break the boat.”

Safely ashore he then watched as Lundin took the honours and along with it enough points for second place in the championship. “After the first heat today I thought the best I could get would be third place, so even though I’m a little bit disappointed with the way the weekend has gone I know it could have been worse” said Lundin. “I’m happy for both Brigada and Massimo Roggerio, they put all their cards on the table at this event and it paid off for them.” Roggiero said that it was the best weekend he had had in the last few years, “I’m was more than happy that we took pole position yesterday, as that was a true test of what this boat is capable of, so for Brigada to win the European Championship is just amazing.”

The Como Podium - Photo: Chris Davies

Third overall went to an equally delighted David Del Pin. “Yesterday morning I looked at this course and said it was impossible to drive” he said. “Then after the first time trial I got my head in gear and told myself that there was nothing I could do to change the course and that I should just get out there and race it.” It obviously did the trick as the young Italian driver out drove his more experienced F2 competitors and took the third step on the podium. “I must thank my brother Antony, who along with Pectro, are my race mechanics, plus thanks to my father who is on the radio and of course to my mother, who is the boss.”

With Brigada now finding his motivation once again to race F2 the question remains will he be back in the BaBa hull. “I had an agreement with them to race just this weekend. If they want me back for the race in Milan in a couple of weeks, they have my phone number.”

29-Sep-14 07:37
Alan Priddy will this week launch a £2.9 million round the world record bid in a new Eco-boat
Chris Davies

British ocean adventurer Alan Priddy will this week launch a £2.9 million round the world record bid in a new Eco-boat powered by a revolutionary fuel emulsion that slashes harmful emissions. Priddy hopes to shave up to seven days off the current powerboat record of 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes, held by New Zealander Pete Bethune. He will make the formal announcement at the Fathom Ship Efficiency Conference in London on Wednesday 1st October.

The boat has been designed by Professor Bob Cripps, former Technical Director of VT Halmatic. Its super-efficient design, a variant of the ‘fast displacement hull’, will reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent, and should also make the 24,000 mile trip smoother than a voyage in a conventional hulled boat.

Inside the boat will be the latest radar, safety and communications equipment from Raymarine and Iridium Communications while the vessel will be powered by a revolutionary fuel emulsion, a mixture of diesel, water and emulsifier, which when burnt produces considerably less harmful emissions such as particulate matter, Carbon Dioxide and Nitrous Oxides than conventional fuel.

The British company behind the emulsion, SulNOx Fuel Fusions, claim that they have cracked the problem of stratification that has blighted this technology in the past. They say that by smashing ordinary fuel and water together repeatedly and under great pressure they can alter the size of the fuel particles at a nano level. To further stabilise this mixture an emulsifying agent is added. This they say has created the first safe, reliable and cost-effective fuel emulsion which will be used to power the boat.

The effects of the emulsified fuel on the engines and the emissions will be monitored for the duration of the voyage, and the results published online.

Speaking last week Alan Priddy said, “This project is the culmination of a lifetime’s work that I hope will highlight the amazing qualities and skills that we have in abundance in our country - the best sailors, engineers, boat builders and designers. This is why when we started this project six years ago, we called ourselves Team Britannia. Given last week's referendum that saw the real prospect of our country being broken up, this name seems all the more appropriate today. I hope it serves as reminder of what this country has and can still achieve.”

The Team hopes to start building the boat early next year and set off on the historic voyage in November 2015, when the weather conditions will be just right.

The 80ft vessel, built out of marine grade aluminium, will be launched in late spring to allow it to complete its sea trials. It has not been named yet, but Priddy says they are in talks with potential sponsors about this and hope to make an announcement in the New Year.

To complete the record attempt the boat must pass through the Suez and Panama Canals, cross the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, and start and finish in the same place. The world record authorities UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) have approved Team Britannia’s proposed route, which will start in Gibraltar and call at Puerto Rico, Acapulco, Honolulu, Guam, Singapore, Oman and Malta to take on fuel.

The boat will be skippered by Alan Priddy with a total crew of eight, including second in command Dr Jan Falkowski, who will be responsible for the physical and mental health of the crew, Priddy also hopes to offer a place on each leg of the epic voyage to injured servicemen or women from the Royal British Legion, or service charity BLESMA (British Limbless Ex-Serviceman Association).

He concluded: “We have the finest maritime designers, builders and sailors in the world. The British boat ‘Cable & Wireless Adventurer’ first set the round the world powerboat record in 1998 and held it for nearly a decade. When this record, the pinnacle of powerboating, was lost to the New Zealand boat ‘Earthrace’, I knew we had an amazing opportunity to once again showcase the best of British - to show why our marine industry is still the best. Team Britannia aims to do just that.”




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