ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Thursday, December 31, 2009 – It seemed like it wasn’t going to happen. Like a surfer, waiting for that perfect “endless wave”. For awhile, it was as if the harder he tried the worst his chances would get.
Well, four years and 38 races later the dream finally came true. Italian Guido Cappellini saved his best performances for the final month of the 2009 season winning three straight times and pulling away from the rest of the competition to win his long awaited 10th title. It turned out to be one of the most exciting seasons in the 29 year history of the U.I.M. F1 H20 World Championship for power boating while removing the “bad luck” monkey off his back at the same time.
His nine month struggle, towards his most coveted goal, started without much fanfare. It began with a pair of poor performances at the opening two rounds in April at the Grand Prix weekend in lovely Portimao along Portugal’s Algarve coast. His duo of failures in not finishing the races were continuing a dangerous trend that was his signature of the 2008 championship his worst season ever in F1 with a 10th in the standings. His luck was about to change as the series headed north to Finland.
“We knew we were behind and had to catch up in the points in a hurry and the win in Lahti turned it around for us and got our confidence back,” said Guido. “We had bad luck in Russia and I think this was our low point before turning it around in a big way starting in China. This, for sure was the turning point of the season.”
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates – Friday, December 11, 2009 – Gudio Cappellini battled his way to a third place finish to finish a four year quest to win his 10th World Championship at the Grand Prix of Sharjah, the 16th and final round of the 2009 U.I.M. F1 H2O World Championship for power boating at a rain driven event in front of thousands of race fans along the corniche on the Khaled Lagoon.
Pole sitter Sami Selio of the Mad Croc sponsored boat had a great start and as he tore away from the pontoon the three boat battle for the world championship immediately heated up with unexpected results that saw one-half of the Team Abu Dhabi drivers of Ahmad Al Hameli blow over in a side by side battle with Cappellini for third place heading for the first turn pin. Ahmad blew completely over ending his day in dramatic fashion.
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates – Thursday, December 10, 2009 – Defending World Champion Jay Price of the Qatar Team made a statement today, winning as predicted and now forcing his rivals Guido Cappellini of the Zepter Team and Thani Al Qamzi of Team Abu Dhabi to put everything on the line at tomorrow's 16th and final event of the U.I.M. F1 H2O World Championship at the 10th Annual Grand Prix of Sharjah.
The race which is a 2.2 kilometer six turn course along the corniche on the Khaled Lagoon, will determine the title between the three drivers beginning tomorrow afternoon at 15:50 local, 11:50 GMT and 06:50 Eastern Standard Time on the East Coast of North America.
“We have a solid chance of coming from behind and taking all the marbles before this one is over,” said the American who gave his country their 50th Grand Prix win. “We need to win again and hope Guido finishes lower than seventh and we win the title. I know it sounds far fetched, but Scott Gillman did it in 2006 and Sami in 2007, so we need to keep on “keepin on” to get back to back titles by sunset tomorrow night.”
Meanwhile, Team Abu Dhabi completed another sweep of a pair of top five positions with Al Qamzi and his teammate Ahmad Al Hameli ending the afternoon in fourth and fifth positions and pushing their team to unsermountable 212 points and officially winning the very prestidgous Team Title for 2009. Full credit must go the four-time World Champion Scott Gillman as Team Manager and the club itself and their dedication to the sport.With one race to be run Team Abu Dhabi is 56 points ahead of the Zepter Team with the third place Qatar Team holding down 145 points.
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates – Wednesday, December 9, 2009 – After an nine month journey that started in Portimao, Portugal in early April, it's down to the final two days of the 2009 U.I.M. F1 H2O World Championship with a logjam at the top with five drivers still in the hunt for the grand prize with three of these desperate to do well on Thursday afternoon or their dreams of winning the title will be over.
Italian nine-time World Champion Guido Cappellini leads the pack by 10 points and with 20 going to the winner of each of the two Grand Prix's on Thursday and Friday. Guido would like to put it all away tomorrow afternoon at 15:50 local time with a victory. Guido's four pursuers all hope he has the same luck that he's had his last three years, no points in the Khaled Lagoon. It this happens tomorrow, let's start from the back and work our way forward to explain how each drivers predicament would play out.
Sami Selio the Mad Croc sponsored Finnish star is sitting at 100 points, twenty-nine behind Cappellini. He needs to not only finish in the top three and as previously mentioned have Guido fail to pick up any points to be still in the game for the title on Friday morning. Sami is the odds on favorite for pole since he's gotten the number one spot on the dock for seven of the last eight starts and has poled here in Sharjah the last two years.
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates – Tuesday, December 8, 2009 – Five drivers from five different countries are hoping to take home with them the honor, the glory and trophy this week after the final two events of the 2009 U.I.M. F1 H2O World Championship for power boating at the 10th Grand Prix of Sharjah on the Khaled Lagoon.
The odds on favorite to win his 10th Drivers Championship is Italian Guido Cappellini in his Zepter sponsored DAC boat leading the championship by 10 points with just two races left to be run. But if past history is any indication, don't start shining up the trophy with his name on it just yet. You see, Guido has been chasing his “next title” since the last time he won one back in 2005. In two of the past three years, he's had the inside track, only to fail to finish the race giving the championship to American Scott Gillman in 2006 and Sami Selio of Finland in 2007. Last year American Jay Price of the Qatar Team had already wrapped up the title by the time he arrived in Sharjah with Guido having his worst season in his previous 19 finishing a lowly 10th in the title chase. He hopes this time it will a happier ending:
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Saturday, December 5, 2009 – Defending World Champion Jay Price of the Qatar Team scored his third victory of the season and his sixth of his career and moved himself back into the 2009 U.I.M. F1 H2O World Championship picture with his 12.68 second victory at the 17th Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in front of tens of thousands of race fans along the corneiche in front of downtown Abu Dhabi.
The American flew off at the start and moved past Finnish driver Sami Selio of the Mad Croc sponsored boat that had just set a new record of seven pole positions in one season, but as Selio was dropping back into third place with Guido Cappellini moving from third into second and charging. A lap later however a tremendous two boat accident at the right hand turn just past the start-finish line between Swedish drivers Pierre Lundin and Jonas Andersson brought out the yellow flag and forced a re-start.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Friday, December 4, 2009 – Italian Guido Cappellini took advantage of Sami Selio's electrical problems and drove to the lead and never gave up winning by 1.14 seconds over Qatar Team driver Jay Price to win for the fourth time in his last five starts and move into first place in the U.I.M. F1 H2O World Championship of power boating drivers standings at the 17th Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi on the edge of the Arabian Sea Friday afternoon.
The nine-time World Champion was trailing pole sitter Selio by over 13 seconds when the Finnish driver in his Mad Croc sponsored BABA boat lost power and dropped to third place where he would finish on the day as Cappellini would feel tremendous pressure from the defending World Champion Price all the way home in the race.
“We had just enough to control the front,” said Guido. “We knew Jay would be a hard driver to hold off but we set a pace that was quick enough for him to get close but not pass. Now we are in the lead in the points chase with 129 to Thani Al Qamzi's 119 and with 60 points still to gained so it is not over by a long shot yet but we are gaining confidence with every victory.”
The 2.175 kilometer seven turn course on the Abu Dhabi harbor saw three World Champions on the podium for the first time this year and the top three were only separated by 3.59 seconds.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Thursday, December 3, 2009 – Finland's Sami Selio is on a special mission this weekend.
It begins when he puts his Mad Croc sponsored BABA boat in the water around the inner harbor of Abu Dhabi for Friday's 13th round of the 2009 U.I.M. F1 H2O World Championship for power boating at the 17th Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.
What is this mission? The driver from Helsinki is hoping to start once again a string of pole position performances that he tied for with five straight including his four in China at Liuzhou and Shenzhen coupled with a number one place at the first of two Grand Prix's last weekend in Doha. The five pole positions matched for one season the five straight that four-time World Champion Scott Gillman set his rookie season of 1997 with his first five races ever run on the F1 tour.
“We are proud of what we have done this season in terms of speed and I have a great boat that Massimo Roggiero built and feel there is a possibility I can run off another streak before we finish the final round on the 11th of December,” said Sami. “You get in the groove and things just seem to come together easily.”
ABU DHABI,United Arab Emirates – Wednesday, December 2, 2009 – Two of the greatest powerboat racing drivers the world has ever known Renato Molinari and Bill Seebold have arrived today in Abu Dhabi to begin a 10 day celebration of their induction into the first U.I.M. F1 H2O World Championship “Hall of Fame” class culminating with a gala awards dinner wrapping up the current 2009 season on Friday, December 11th in the city of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
For the Italian Molinari and the America Seebold they both arrive just in time to enjoy and celebrate the patriotic fervor of the countries “National Day” a 48 hour celebration marking the 38th year of the historic beginning of the United Arab Emirates as and independent country.
The “Hall of Fame” was established this year to honor only the very special drivers, officials, crew and other personnel who have made major contributions to the U.I.M. F1 H2O World Championship over the previous 29 year racing history of the sport.
Both Renato and Bill were part of four candidates that were voted on earlier this year with they being the top two vote getters decided by the media members, race fans and other officials to determine whom would be the first “class” to be enshrined into the hall.
“It's so great to have both Renato and Bill arrive today,” said F1 H2O promoter Nicolo di San Germano. “They will be with us for the next two races and enjoy the same enthusiasm and excitement we are feeling with still four races to go in the championship and many fine drivers still with a solid chance to be crowned World Champion before the season closes on the 11th of December.”
|Thani Al Qamzi||143|
|Ahmad Al Hameli||84|
|UIM F1H2O World Championship|
|date and venue could be changed|
|Grand Prix of China - Xiamen|
|02||Philippe Chiappe||+ 0.91 secs|
|03||Jonas Andersson||+ 2.75 secs|