July 8, 2008

Powerboat P1 - Hammamet, Tunisia Preview

Powerboat P1 swaps Morocco for the majestic waters of Tunisia this year. Hosting the Tunisian Grand Prix of the Sea for the second time, Africa’s northernmost nation will provide a unique stop in the 2008 calendar, with the race weekend being held in the coastal resort of Hammamet. The 4th round in the North African continent will prove a vital stop before an official 2 month break for the season.
The Tunisian Grand Prix is finally here and after a hectic start of the season for the boats, this was a much wanted longer 5 weeks break from the shore crew of all teams, so it will be interesting to see if any of the teams will have upped there game to be in more challenging form to the firsts of the class. Apart all the usual P1 action, Tunisia will also add the extreme heat which is expected to hit the North African Med race course with temperatures of 4o plus degrees Celsius. Time table has also been revised for a late afternoon, early evening race. In Evolution it will be curious to see if the dominating form shown by 88 Kiton Outerlimits in Malta, was a luck of many factors or if this is the boat to beat for the 2008 season. My gut tell me it's the later one, tough more friendly waters could prove a bonus to the smaller Evolution boats like the Fountain and the Skater V-399. SuperSport Class 44 Conam Yachts seem so far unstoppable, but teams like 38 Baia High Performance say that if weather conditions prove smoother they can be a match for the Italian Maltese pairing.
The Tunisian Grand Prix will also mark the return of 11 Sunseeker Challenger in Supersport Class, after the accident in Marseilles in pre-race testing. Meanwhile 76 Italcraft Inrizzardi Evolution Class team will still be using the old Metamarine as in Malta, with the shore crew continue on updating and preparing the new alloy hulled Diesel Seatek powered Binautica, which should go for a record challenge to the Venezia Montecarlo race in the coming weeks, before racing in the next official round scheduled for Vigo in Spain.

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