June 8, 2008

Powerboat P1 - Malta Grand Prix, Kiton Outerlimits Conam Yachts Take All

It was a weekend of great racing in Malta and having watched the races and Powerpole live, it was an experience to see and remeber. So it the circus is close by go and have a look! The most thing that strikes is how the P1 circus is growing its professionalism with the teams looking as good as it gets. Think about the top motor sports like Formula One and there it goes. This is no surprise having various top powerboat builders like Cigarette, Fountain, Outerlimirs, Skater, Metamarine and Italcraft Inrizzardi competing on official basis. The racing was fantastic with 44 Chaudron Conam Yachts still dominating the Supersport class, but a nice turn around in the Evolution with a double win from OSG Kiton Outerlimits, and chart leaders Fountain worldwide taking second overall. Now it will be a month of break which I am sure will serve some teams to upgrade there package when the next race happens in Tunisia.
After four races of domination by the reigning champion 99 Fountain Worldwide 1st4boats.com team, the tide of the Evolution class title fight took a dramatic turn in Saturday’s Evolution class Endurance race of the Malta Grand Prix of the Sea.
The 88 Kiton Outerlimits pairing of 2006 Evolution class champion Giancarlo Cangiano and Joe Sgro dominated the Endurance event in incredibly rough conditions, ultimately taking the chequered flag with a four-minute lead over the second-place 60 GFN Gibellato boat. The heavy diesel-powered 60 GFN Gibellato boat had proved a revelation in the smooth conditions of the season-opener in San Benedetto del Tronto in Italy, and as expected was even more ideally suited to pushing through today’s rougher waves off the coast of host city Valletta. A poor start that left the team trailing the competition and having to fight their way through the field was perhaps all that prevented the team from scoring its second win of the season. In third were the 69 Honeyparty.com entry, scoring their first points of the year after impressive pace, but poor reliability in the first two rounds. The Chief-powered Skater boat was a consistent frontrunner throughout the course of today’s race, despite as a smaller boat being less favoured in the rough conditions. In fact, so rough were the conditions, that battle damage cracks could clearly be seen on the 69 Honeyparty.com’s hull. The 77 Lucas Oil boat had been in the early fight for the top three podium positions, but was forced out of the battle by a broken engine mount. That was a big help to the 99 Fountain Worldwide 1st4boats.com team, who moved back through the field after dropping back at the start. Sadly, for the Evolution class championship leaders, a suspected electrical problem meant they lost engine power and ultimately had to settle for fourth place. The 66 Cranfields Wine boat and the 57 Centaurian Yachts boats rounded out the race finishers, with the 53 Pignolo 53 and 76 Italcraft entries both retiring with technical problems in the rough conditions.
The 88 Kiton Outerlimits OSG racing crew of Giancarlo Cangiano and Joe Sgro took their second Evolution class win of the Malta Grand Prix of the Sea weekend in Sunday’s Sprint event, securing the overall Grand Prix of the Sea victory and moving into second place in the Evolution class championship standings. It was another dominant performance from 2006 champion Cangiano and Sgro in the Mercury-powered Outerlimits boat. Finishing in second place were the reigning title winners and current championship leaders, the 99 Fountain Worldwide 1st4boats.com entry. Although the pair were clearly settled for second after dropping back at the start, a solid weekend and a pair of points finishes mean they’ve continued to enhance their lead at the top of the standings. The 10 Fantastic 1 Cigarette Racing Team Europe entry rounded out the podium finishers, despite slowing rapidly in the second half of the race with an engine problem. The 66 Cranfields Wine and 60 GFN Gibellato boat rounded out the top five finishers, while Italian Max Ferrari limped his 53 Pignolo 53 entry home after his canopy came loose midway through the race, severely hampering the handling of his boat. The 69 Honeyparty.com team were forced to pull in halfway through the race with a split hull, leaving the British-based outfit with a sour aftertaste to yesterday’s podium glory. It was also a bad day for the 77 Lucas Oil crew, failing to even start the race after delays leaving the harbour, a consequence of repairing the damage from Saturday's engine bolt failure.
Local Maltese hero Aaron Ciantar, driving the 44 Conam Yachts entry, piloted his team to victory in Saturday’s SuperSport Endurance event, the first race of the Malta Grand Prix of the Sea weekend.
Ciantar and reigning SuperSport champion throttleman Angelo Tedeschi led the race from start to finish in their locally-built, Mercury-powered Chaudron boat. The SuperSport championship-leading team were untouchable as they attacked the rough seas off the coast of host city Valletta, securing their second success of the weekend after yesterday’s PowerPole win. With two boats the 08 Phoenix 8 and the 46 Spirit of Portomaso, forced out at the start of the race due to mechanical problems, the remaining teams took to the start line as the wind increased . As the seas got rougher, attrition was bound to be a factor and, by the fourth lap, the 22 Big Sergio entry had retired with mechanical difficulties, while the 59 Saho boat suffered a broken water pump. Drive of the day came from the 07 VoomVoom.com crew, who came from the back of the field to take a dramatic second place from the 38 Baia High Performance boat in the closing stages. Despite choosing the wrong propellers for the conditions, 47 Buzzi Bullet continued its fight to the finish.
The 44 Conam Yachts crew of reigning SuperSport champion Angelo Tedeschi and local Maltese hero Aaron Ciantar took their second win of the weekend and their fifth win of the year in Sunday’s SuperSport Sprint race to secure overall victory in the Malta Grand Prix of the Sea event. The duo in their Mercury-powered Chaudron hull, built in Malta by Ciantar's family business were never headed from the start of the race, and romped home to another dominant and unchallenged victory. The 38 Baia High Performance boat finished second after a ding-dong, three-way battle for the remaining podium places with the 07 VoomVoom.com boat and the 47 Silverline Buzzi Bullet crew. 07 VoomVoom.com pairing looked like they’d blown it as they spun out two laps from the end, but were able to mount a late charge to push the 38 Baia High Performance crew of Stefano Acanfora and Renato Guidi right to the chequered flag, ensuring they retain their second place in the SuperSport championship standings. The 07 VoomVoom.com’s recovery was helped by technical problems in the 47 Silverline Buzzi Bullet that caused them to drop back to fourth in the closing stages of the race. The 46 Spirit of Portomaso boat and the 22 Big Sergio crew rounded out the finishers, while 59 Saho was forced to turn back to port before the race even started and 08 Phoenix 8 missed the first Powerboat P1 SuperSport race in three years a legacy of the engine problems that blighted the team’s race on Saturday.
Evolution Class Sprint Results
1 88 Kiton Outerlimits 36m17.46s
2 99 Fountain Worldwide 1st4boats.com 37m13.50s
3 10 The Fantastic 1 36m19.45s - 1 lap
4 66 Cranefields Wine 36m43.59s - 1 lap
5 60 GFN Gibellato 37m22.75s - 1 lap
6 76 Italcraft 38m46.08s - 1 lap
7 53 Pignolo 53 47m21.38s - 2 laps
8 69 honeyparty.com RET
9 57 Centaurian Yachts RET
10 77 Lucas Oil DNS
Evolution Class Endurance Results
1 88 Kiton Outerlimits 1h03m22.66s
2 60 GFN Gibellato 1h07m38.59s
3 69 honeyparty.com 1h08m02.99s
4 99 Fountain Worldwide 1st4boats.com 1h07m56.59s - 1 lap
5 66 Cranefields Wine 1h08m64.96s - 1 lap
6 57 Centaurian Yachts 1h07m40.00s - 2 laps
7 53 Pignolo 53 RET 8 77 Lucas Oil RET
9 76 Italcraft RET 10
10 The Fantastic 1 DNS
SuperSport Class Sprint Results
1 44 Conam Yachts 40m28.07s
2 38 Baia High Performance 42m02.68s
3 07 VoomVoom.com 42m04.51s
4 47 Silverline Buzzi Bullet 42m19.93s
5 46 The Spirit of Portomaso 45m09.51s + 4m penalty
6 22 The Big Sergio RET
7 08 Phoenix TV DNS
8 59 Saho DNS
SuperSport Class Endurance Results
1 44 Conam Yachts 1h36m02.33s
2 07 VoomVoom.com 1h37m29.03s
3 38 Baia High Performance 1h39m45.55s
4 47 Silverline Buzzi Bullet 1h38m57.95s - 1 lap
5 22 The Big Sergio RET
6 59 Saho RET
7 08 Phoenix TV DNS
8 46 The Spirit of Portomaso DNS

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