Powerboating:L Not rough enough for Curtis: Powerboats dash between the Channel Islands as they dispute the British Grand Prix

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The Independent Online
BRITAIN'S Steve Curtis, the pre-race favourite to win the British Offshore Powerboat Grand Prix, could manage only third place in yesterday's 136- mile race between Guernsey and Jersey. writes Jeremy Hart.

The twice former world champion, driving his 140mph catamaran, Bilba (pictured, right), was notoriously quick during races in heavy seas but not even a strong wind was enough to help Curtis beat the Victory team from Dubai.

Khalfan Hareb, a professional footballer turned powerboat racer, beat his team-mate Saeed Al Tayer to win the two-hour race by 11 minutes.

'It was rough enough today, but there's only so much of a risk you can take,' Curtis, from Southampton, said. 'The Victory boats got a better start. Catching up was never realistic.'

This year's British Grand Prix at Guernsey could be the last. Financial problems theatened this weekend's race until a rescue package was put together by a Guernsey bank.

To ensure the 1995 race goes ahead pounds 150,000 needs to be found in the next month to get Guernsey on the 1995 calendar. If not, the Channel Island event could lose its place in the world championship to Cuba.

The impoverished Caribbean island has a major sponsor lined up to support its first major powerboat event next summer, but, ironically, only if the current exodus of boat people is halted.

(Photograph omitted)