As the 2017 UIM World F1H2o Championship series reaches a climatic finale on Friday Alex Carella of Team Abu Dhabi leads by 11 points.
Behind Carrella is 2016 World Champion Philippe Chiappe of Team China, and if he wins and Carella is either 2nd or 3rd the gold medal heads for Abu Dhabi and a 4th World Crown goes to the Italian. However, if Carella is 4th Chiappe clinches his 4th world crown. Prior to the penultimate GP in Abu Dhabi last week there were several drivers in with a chance of the title, but not any more – its either a Frenchman or Italian winning the 2017 world crown.
It’s been a busy week for the repair men as the intensive care pits was fully occupied. Jon Jones Dragon ‘Spirit of Wales’, which was to give Brit Matt Palfreyman his F1 debut, suffered a mild attack of delamination. Thankfully, Jones and his long-time associate boat builder Dave Burgess set about rectifying the problem, and the boat should be ready for the Sharjah GP. A few metres away another F1 debutante Erik Edin’s Team Sweden DAC was suffering a similar delamination ailment, and it was being treated by Cristian Molgaard and again this outfit should be fit for Friday’s GP.
Jonathan Jones and Dave Burgess rectifying the delamitation in ‘Spirit of Wales’
Sami Selio’s BaBa, which was involved in the first of two crashes in Abu Dhabi, was also being worked on as, unlike his second crash that caused extensive damage to Selio’s other boat, there was a chance the number one boat could be repaired. The Finn was expecting to be ruled out on doctors orders as he was sporting a black eye and bruising, but he has now been given the all clear
We understand Cedric Deguisne, owner of Maverick Racing, has been permitted to race on Friday after two yellow cards in Abu Dhabi when he was deemed partly responsible for Selio’s second accident. The second yellow was when he returned to the dock with his boat in a sinking condition with one of his shore crew illegally on board. The Frenchman circled around with the extra passenger aboard as the crane was positioned, and this is against the rules.
On this issue of recovery by crane when a damaged boat is in danger of sinking David Burgess has suggested designing a devise that is fitted to the boat permanently. When a boat returns to the dock the crane hook can be instantly attached, unlike the time consuming current method of attaching three strops, one on either side at the stern and one just behind the cockpit.
While all eyes will be focused on the battle between Chiappe and Carella for the world title, another driver who has been doing extremely well this season and attracting some attention will be ‘Norwegian lady pilot’ Marit Stromoy who won her first GP in Sharjah two years ago and was runner-up in Abu Dhabi last week.
Fabio Comparato chats to Marit Stromoy