Ukrainian Spirit Back In The Reckoning!

Sunday, August 1, 2010, 19:31

By Wilfred Sultana

Poltu Quatu in Sardinia is a typical successful destination which gains prestigious promotion through innovative sponsorships of major events which provide the distinctive platform as a tourism promotional tool.

The Rudolph Valentino Awards for the best national and international movie stars, the Loro Piana Superyacht where Superyachts of 24 meters and above compete for the “Loro Piana Prize Overall” and “The Silver Jubilee Cup”, the Poltu Quatu Golf Cup held at the prestigious Pevero Golf Cup, the Sardinia Rally Classic an international event reserved for vintage cars built before 1960, and the Powerboats Grand Prix of the Sea; all high profile events which put Poltu Quatu in the limelight with different sectors of international audiences maintaining a constant promotion presence.

Well, the marketing strategy of Poltu Quatu is not my objective but I simply made reference on the way to my subject – the third Powerboats Grand Prix of the Sea in the P1 2010 World Championship – focusing mainly on the fortunes and performance of Ukrainian Spirit.

Ukrainian Spirit back on the winning track of the P1 Grand Prix of the Sea Championship following a 2nd place overall in Sardinia

Ukrainian Spirit back on the winning track of the P1 Grand Prix of the Sea Championship following a 2nd place overall in Sardinia

A season which started with great aspirations and enthusiasm for the Ukrainian-Maltese partnership with a new Chaudron-built boat where Ukrainian owner/ throttle-man Viktor Shemchuk and Maltese boat-builder/driver Aaron Ciantar, proven World Champions, were determined to move to the Evolution Class and maintain the realms of victory.

“In the opening event of this year’s Championship in Yalta we started at the 7th place but by the 4th lap we were leading the fleet, a position we held for five laps. Then half a lap before the finish line the engines blew”, related Aaon Ciantar.

The Yalta opening Meeting was held over the weekend 7th to 9th May. The Malta Meeting was scheduled for less than five weeks after; for the weekend 11th to 13th June – right on the opening days of the 2010 FIFA World Cup – definitely reckless planning from the local organisers side which was definitely a miss-out on the Championship’s distinctive promotion platform. Furthermore following the Yalta misfortune to Ukrainian Spirit, there was no chance that Malta’s golden boy on the P1 circuit could make the ’home’ debut with the new boat.

“After the Yalta meeting we immediately ordered new custom-made engines from the USA. These were received just 3 days before the start of the Malta Grand Prix where the demanding task of dismantling and installation practically involving all parts of the boat made our participation in the local meeting impossible”, explained Aaron.

Considering that the Sardinia meeting was the first outing for Ukrainian Spirit with the new engines, where the speed and the weight balance assessment of the boat were not yet tested under race condition, it turned out a most satisfactory performance – twice in third place and second overall.

Are the new engines more powerful than the ones that broke down at Yalta?

“Yes and they have a stronger acceleration. However there is room for further improvement with the new engines given they are supercharged engines”, stated Charles Ciantar Technical Manager of Team Ukrainian Spirit (55)

Sardinia was the second outing for the new boat. Are you pleased with its performance and structure wise do you foresee the need of implementing any adjustments?

“The new boat is definitely better than the one we raced with in the SuperSport Class. It is much better to manoeuvre; we are adjusting the weight in contrast to the engines to improve the speed of the boat”, commented Aaron.

After 3 outings this season, where you unfortunately missed one event, what are your objectives for the rest of the season?

“We want to fine tune the boat for the last 2 meetings and try to win the remaining races. Winning the championship is most difficult after having missed one meeting but our full input at this stage would be the right preparation for next season”, remarked Aaron.

What makes competing in the Evolution Class so different from that of the SuperSport Class?

“Initially the boat is a close canopy which makes a big difference. Given the compulsory use of the harness it is safer to drive. The fact that the Evolution Class does not have any speed limits, like the SuperSport Class that is restricted to a top speed of 90m.p.h, makes competing in this class more difficult and one has to give more attention. Our current top speed is 105m.p.h. but I would like to take this up to 110m.p.h.” explained the ever enthusiastic Maltese World Champion Aaron Ciantar.

The month of August features no meetings on the P1 Grand Prix of the Sea calendar which makes the chosen dates for the Malta and Sardinia meetings more controversial. While the Malta meeting clashed with the opening matches, the Sardinia event was held on the same days of the match for 3rd Place and that of the Final of the World Cup.

Well, humans are humans whether it’s football or power-boating and it is evident that not just Capello or Maradona make strategic blunders!

Meanwhile, Good Luck Aaron, Victor and the rest of the Ukrainian Spirit team – And yes, you’ll will rise, fight and win again!.

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