Postcard from Sicily

General News 11 November 2009 - Siracusa, Sicily, proved to be a fitting venue for Powerboat P1’s season decider.

Not only was it possible to find a number of impressive vantage points to watch the racing, the weather was fantastic, the people friendly and local cuisine excellent.

With its Ancient Greek and Roman influences, Siracusa’s mediaeval City, Ortegia, is an architectural gem, narrow streets packed with history and piazzas at every turn.

As for the racing, well it was always going to be lively with world titles in both classes up for grabs.

In fact, apart from the absence of shootings, it had the hallmarks of Sergio Leone’s classic spaghetti western, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly; high stakes and drama, disappointment and jubilation, and of course dodgy dealings!

In the Evolution Class, the world title went to the OSG Racing Team and its pilots, Hannes Bohinc, Giancarlo Cangiano and Giovanni Carpitella.

OSG was the outstanding performer throughout the season, its highly decorated pilot line-up achieving eight podium finishes including three GP wins from a possible five.

In Saturday’s sprint race, OSG produced another faultless performance as its main rivals faltered.

It meant that when the boats lined up for Sunday’s 73 nautical mile endurance race, OSG’s pilots on the day, team owner and throttleman, Giancarlo Cangiano and driver, Giovanni Carpitella, knew that the championship was in the bag if they could bring the Mercury-powered Outerlimits craft home in one piece. And this they duly did, finishing second behind the Belgian boat, Furnibo.

In SuperSport, the Championship was won by Ukrainian Spirit, which secured Italian Angelo Tedeschi his third consecutive SuperSport world title.



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The win was somewhat soured by the use of team orders which resulted in its sister boat, Racing Project, piloted by Audrienne Ciantar and Shelly Jory, abandoning their challenge in the closing stages of Saturday’s race to improve the finishing position of Ukrainian Spirit.

In doing so the world title hopes of its closest rival, the Neapolitan-based team Baia Attolini, were effectively ended.

If that was the bad and the win by Austrian Hannes Bohinc and his Italian OSG team was the good, the Italian Cigarette Smash Poker team’s attempt to cheat was downright ugly!

A series of events which will in time become powerboat legend apparently started at the weigh-in following Saturday’s sprint race when the Mercury-powered Cigarette was found to be under weight.

Following claims by the team that the equipment could be faulty, the boat was switched to alternative apparatus and found to be within tolerance. However, as the boat was lowered to the ground, a crew member was spotted hiding in the cockpit.

It was an audacious and outrageous attempt to cheat that was severely punished by the authorities.

The news passed through the paddock like wildfire, the tense atmosphere of a showdown weekend was immediately lightened as the incident became the butt of all manor of jokes and the main talking point of every team. Over dinner one wag suggested that if, on discovery, ‘the human ballast’ had popped up from the cockpit and asked whether he had arrived in Britain, the team may have been able to use stowaway as a legitimate defence.