2011 Ocean Grand Prix round 4 at Siracusa Jolly Drive and Lucas Oil win

Jolly Drive and Lucas Oil got the checkered flagJolly Drive, the Yanmar-powered Italian powerboat took its second consecutive victory in the SuperSport class of the UIM Siracusa Ocean Grand Prix to make a decisive move in the quest for the world title; an achievement they last accomplished in 2005.

On a glass-like surface, Federico Montanari, Alfredo Zanardo and Giambattista Gabriele demonstrated the boat’s preference for flat waters, leading from start to finish. Behind them SIF and Karelpiu looked evenly matched and an intriguing battle for second place developed. That was, until on lap three the Mercury-powered Donzi of SIF took control when their rival missed a buoy. Despite making a swift course-correction, the gap was just too great for the Fountain boat despite making up significant ground over the 46 nautical mile Sprint course. All three Italian boats crossed the line within a few lengths of each other, suggesting that the fight for the season’s spoils will continue right down to the wire.

In Evo, the tables were turned upside-down as the Lucas Oil Scandinavian Offshore Challenge of Michael Silfverberg and Nigel Hook took a first win of the season from the German Searex team, with Belgian boat, Furnibo failing to complete the required 70 percent race distance. The race had looked to be firmly in the grasp of Siegfried Greve and Douglas Verbanck in Hercules Sagemann, who had taken the lead from Lucas Oil on lap two, only for the German team to relinquish first place in the closing stages. Before today’s race, Furnibo, piloted by Pierre Colpin and Frank Hemelaer had dominated the championship with three consecutive wins. That lead is now fragile; the performance of Searex and the win for Lucas Oil, now under the supervision of the US powerboating legend Jerry Gilbreath, suggests that this won’t be the last win for the team.

Now the focus is on tomorrow’s longer Endurance race as the teams prepare for more close-fought action over the 74 nautical mile course.

UIM Siracusa Ocean Grand Prix (Round 04) PROVISIONAL Sprint Race Results Evo Class
Pos. — No. — Boat Name — Nat. — Time — Pts.
1 — 77 — Lucas Oil — SWE — 00:37:50:87 — 20
2 — 66 — Hercules Sägemann — DEU — 00:38:10:44 — 16
33 — Furnibo — BEL — DNF — 0

UIM Siracusa Ocean Grand Prix (Round 04) PROVISIONAL Sprint Race Results SuperSport Class
Pos. — No. — Boat Name — Nat. — Time — Pts.
1 — 06 — Jolly Drive — ITA — 00:36:54:27 — 20
2 — 38 — SIF — ITA — 00:36:58:04 — 16
3 — 81 — Karelpiu’ — ITA — 00:37:00:86 — 12

Lucas Oil Scandivavian Offshore Challenge going for gold - credit: Karel Overlaet

Jolly Drive racing on the edge of overspeed - credit: Karel Overlaet

Lucas Oil Scandinavian Offshore Challenge racing with Cranefields Wine for the win in the Evo Class - credit: Karel Overlaet

Supersport podium round 4

Evo podium round 4 2011 - 1: Lucas Oil SOC - 2: Cranefields Wine - 3: Furnibo - credit: Karel Overlaet