Sharjah set for UIM F1 race

SHARJAH - The Sharjah Water Festival will be concluded with the final leg of the 2010 UIM F1 H20 World Championship for powerboating at the Khaled Lagoon on Thursday and Friday.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Fri 10 Dec 2010, 1:02 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:47 AM

The event is organised under the directives of His Highness Shaikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and held under the patronage of Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Sharjah’s Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler.

“The Sharjah Water Festival is a huge annual event that brings happiness and entertainment for all family members,” said Mohammed Al Noman, director general of the Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority.

“The festival will promote water sports within the emirate, and complement the Sharjah Grand Prix, while paying tribute to the emirate’s ancient sea heritage,” Al Noman added. “The SCTDA’s work team who created a character called ‘Mouj’ for this festival are continuing their hard work to embody the joy that we wish to share with families and children, specifically,” he told newsmen at the Millennium Hotel in Sharjah on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the last week’s five driver struggle for the championship has come down to two ex-World Champions that will be played out this Friday afternoon on the Khaled Lagoon for the eighth and final round of the 2010 UIM F1 H2O World Championship and the 12th Grand Prix of Sharjah.

American Jay Price of the Qatar Team comes into the race leading by just four points to arch rival Sami Selio of Finland driving for the Mad Croc F1 Team.

Both drivers have captured pole positions and won in Sharjah before. Selio has a slight edge over Price winning in both 2007 and the second race of 2009, while Jay has won once at the first event last season.

Qualifying will be extremely important on this 2.235 kilometer six turn course and again history shows that the native of Helsinki has a slight edge having taken three of the four last pole positions with Jay earning is last year in race one. In the last two events run on the lagoon, Jay beat Sami to the pole and the win race one in 2009 while Sami beat Jay to pole the next day and won while Jay crashed out on the first commitment buoy trying to find the edge he needed to overtake for the lead in race two.

Now it will all happen again. Two of the biggest rivals on water anywhere in the world. Sami Selio, the 2007 World Champion who had such a remarkable ending that season stealing the title away in two “must win” races over Italian Guido Cappellini. A driver who started in the small SJ 15 class before moving up the F4 while being learning from his father and his boat building business.

Jay Price, dominating a year later winning the 2008 title earning the right after wallowing for so many years in lesser classes while racing in Mexico, Cuba and other countries looking to make a name for himself in the meantime before getting his first start in F1 in 2002. What makes this story so intriguing is the fact that the winner will earn 20 points, second 15 and third 12.

So, if Sami wins and Jay finishes second, Sami takes the title. If neither driver wins and Sami finishes second and Jay third, Jay wins the title — both scenarios by just one point either way.

Finally, something to think about. Jay Price won his title driving boat number 11 back in 2008 and will he beat boat number 11 for the title this time around? Guess who’s driving it this time? Yes, Sami Selio!

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