AOPC Ali Al-Neama and Steve Curtis claim third and second at Geelong
For immediate release
Sunday, November 14th, 2010
QATAR’S AL-NEAMA AND STEVE CURTIS SNATCH
THIRD AND SECOND PLACES IN GEELONG RACES
· Geelong victories fall to Tom Barry-Cotter and Pal-Virik Nilsen
GEELONG (AUSTRALIA): Qatar’s Ali Al-Neama and British throttleman Steve Curtis claimed third and second positions in the two races at the penultimate round of the Australian Class 1 Superboat Championship in Victoria, Australia, on Sunday.
Australian Tom Barry-Cotter and his Norwegian throttleman Pal-Virik Nilsen won both races at the Geelong Powerboat Classic at the helm of Mustang Maritimo. The pair now hold second in the championship heading into the final race of the season next weekend.
The Geelong races marked the first time that Qatar’s Ali Al-Neama and Steve Curtis had raced together in Spirit of Qatar 96, supplied by Team Maritimo Offshore.
In the absence of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, Al-Neama produced a solid performance in flat calm conditions to see off the challenge from Acme Racing, which finished third overall in race two. Barry-Cotter and Nilsen had claimed pole position for the races in Saturday’s qualifying session.
“We had a third and a second, but we had some technical problems in the first race and that cost us our chance of moving higher,” said Curtis. “We made a lot of changes and modified the set-up for the second race and really got into a good rhythm, but the conditions were flat calm and not at all suited to the set-up of our boat.
“The second race was red-flagged after an accident involving one of the smaller boats and we were classified in second position, but it was really enjoyable and great experience for Ali and myself to work together for the first time.
“The nature of the championship means that you earn bonus points for attending all the races and that will work against us at the end of the season in the points’ tables, because the nature of our programme means that we missed several of the races and have missed out on around an extra 1000 points.”
The Sandringham Offshore Superboat race, the final round of the Australian Class 1 Superboat Championship, takes place in Melbourne next Sunday afternoon (November 21st). Teams will qualify with the pole position shoot-out on Saturday and take part in a single race on Sunday.
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