Four Previous Races Have Produced Four Separate Champions!
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – 7th of June, 2009 – Well, who’s next? Who’s going to be the new winner this time? This seems to be the one big question on everyone’s lips as the U.I.M. F1 H2O World Championship for power boating heads to the picturesque city of Lahti for the Fifth Grand Prix of Finland next weekend on the 12th and 13th of June for the third and fourth races of the 2009 campaign.
Some race sites seem to attract the same winners almost year after year. Take for instance the Grand Prix of Portugal where Italian star Guido Cappellini of the Zepter Team has won a remarkable seven times including the first five races in a row of the 12 races that have been held on the Arade River in Portimao.
However, the Grand Prix of Finland is totally different! Four Grand Prix’s at three separate venues since its first meeting in 1998 with completely different winners each time. What makes this so special is that two of these past hero’s are now retired and look on the Finnish event as their high water mark of their careers being that it was their lone Grand Prix victory.
Swedish driver Goran Karloff came into Tampere not as a solid favorite for victory in 1998. It was a season where six different drivers would score wins in nine Grand’s Prix making this one of the most intriguing 12 months in the history of the sport. Eventually Welshman Jonathan Jones would take the championship at the final event in Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, Goran, who set a solid pace starting from the start dock in the fifth position eventually came to the front and held off two very determined World Champions in Scott Gillman and Jones to take a well deserved and popular victory that afternoon.
Five years later the Grand Prix shifted to a whole different setting going straight into the inner harbor of Helsinki in 2002 and 2003. Frenchman Philippe Dessertenne captured the top step for the only time of his career on his 67th Grand Prix start.
The next year saw Italian Francesco Cantando of the Singha Team come away with his eighth checkered flag of his career in 2003 ahead of Cappellini and Gillman. Still very much racing and tied for third in the current championship, he will try to win again this next weekend as he searches for his 12th Grand Prix triumph and his first since Singapore of 2005.
Meanwhile, Cappellini’s last victory came at last year’s event in Lahti holding off a very determined Qatar Team driver in Jay Price. The driver from New Orleans, Louisiana pushed the nine-time World Champion to final moments after starting 18th to second. Finland marks the only victory for Guido in his last 11 appearances.
So, with four past races and four completely different race winners, will the same scenario continue in 2009? It just might happen as the two hottest drivers on the tour are the Team Abu Dhabi “twins” of Thani Al Qamzi and his close friend Ahmad Al Hameli have both won at the first two events of the season and sit one-two in the championship but neither have won in Finland. They however have a great opportunity to keep the string alive.
Jay Price, the defending World Champion looks determined to take it one step higher on the podium with a possible fourth career victory along with Italian Cantando or Swedish driver Jonas Andersson who is ready to score his third career victory and sits currently fifth in the drivers championship.
Finland, a place where anything can happen when it comes to the U.I.M. F1 H2O World Championship for power boating. With all four previous winners in attendance this weekend either watching or racing it should be something special when the boats take to Lake Vesijarvi beginning with the third race in the championship on Friday the 12th of June. A continuing mystery of who will win. We’ll know shortly if the streak stays alive for another season.
Be in the know – with F1 H2O!