Powerboat Racing: Victory conquers elements to end perfect run of Curtis and Gjelsten

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The Independent Online

Rough seas and strong winds added to the drama and excitement at a spectacular Class 1 British Powerboat Grand Prix with Ali Al Qama and Ahmed Al Tayer in Victory 7 storming to a comfortable win after taking the lead on the third lap.

A win for the Dubai-based team dashed the hopes of the tens of thousands of spectators who lined Plymouth Hoe eager for a British win. It also ended the season-long unbeaten run of Britain's Steve Curtis and his Norwegian driver Bjorn Gjelsten, who finished second in Spirit of Norway with Australian entry Maritimo Offshore in third.

It was a brave performance by the Dubai duo who earlier in the year escaped serious injury after barrelrolling their 160mph raceboat at the Portuguese Grand Prix in Lisbon.

With winds gusting up to 20mph and two-metre waves outside the breakwater, Al Qama and Al Tayer produced a near faultless display, and although they never looked like being overhauled once they hit the front, they survived several perilous moments as they fought to control the five-tonne Victory 7 as she flew and twisted through the air.

Despite having to settle for second place, Curtis and Gjelsten extended their overall lead to 16 points and remain on course to retain their title.

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