After a month long break in the Class 1 racing program, filled by racing in the Class 3 world Championships and a hectic rush to compete in the USA in the IJBSA jet ski world championships, this weekend sees Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi arrive on the shores of lake Como to continue their defence of both European and World titles. The picturesque municipality of Cernobbio, fronted by lake Como, Italy’s 3rd largest lake and overlooked by Mount Bisbino makes for a stylish setting for the concluding 2 races of the European Class 1 championship.
The surrounding slopes of the lake shore, dotted with the luxury villas built by European nobility in the 19th century, but now owned by film stars and Europe’s modern rich and powerful elite will see the battle re-joined between Victory Team and Spirit of Qatar led by Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis in Spirit of Qatar 96. The point’s standings in the two titles being contested this weekend could not be much closer with Victory leading the world title race by 5 points, whilst honours are reversed in the European title hunt with Qatar having the 5 point advantage. The local interest will be centred on DAC Racing’s Poliform 74, currently 4th in the championships and Fendi Racing who will be racing with their Scam Technologies V12 engines for the first time. Further Italian support can be expected for Giorgi Offshore returning after missing the Arendal race and the first time appearance of Team D’Alessio-SCAM whose driver line up include Luca Nicolini as throttle man and newcomer Frank Hemelaer driving.
Team Abu Dhabi sees Ahmed al Hameli fresh from his team’s success in the F1 race in China come to fill in for the injured Rashid al Tayer, teaming up with driver Majed al Mansoori and hoping to improve on the teams current fifth place. A change in the driver line up in Welmax stirs things up in the Norwegian camp whilst Zabo racing’s Relekta will again run their Victory built hull after making modifications since the boats debut in Arendal.
All in all a surprising amount of midseason changes could lead to some upsets this coming weekend but Victory Team will be focussed on one goal, that of finishing on the top step of the podium and taking another step in retaining the all-important Class 1 world title.