Powerboat racing legend Steve Curtis saw his position at the top of the standings for most race wins surpassed at the end of last year following Arif Al Zaffain’s victory in the final race of the 2015 UIM Class 1 World powerboat Championship, writes former UK British champion Richard Carr.
Despite his six year run as champion of the Class 1 racing division coming to an end last year, his victory in race 2 in Abu Dhabi was enough to make him one of the most successful racers in the sport’s history.
That is certainly since the championship reverted back to the multiple event format 24 years ago. In that time, Al Zaffain has a superb strike rate winning 43 races from 64 starts at 39 different Grand Prix.
As with any successful racer there’s always a co-pilot and Al Zaffain has been blessed with some highly skilful ones during his career. Of his victories, four came with the late Jean-Marc Sanchez, 14 with Mohammed Al Marri and 25 alongside current team mate Nadir Bin Hendi.
Al Zaffain’s strike rate, which is currently around 80%, has earned him seven world championships; six of which were won in succession until 2014.
In addition, he has started from pole position 20 times and as a result won the Pole Position Championship four times. He has also won the European Championship three times and the Middle East title four times.
Richard Carr has raced alongside and against Steve Curtis many times during his career and will once again team up with the Briton at the Venture World Cup Round Ireland race later this year.
Despite Al Zaffain overtaking his most wins record, Richard still believes Curtis has the edge and his record in the sport would suggest so.
He has lifted the coveted Sam Griffith Trophy eight times – more than anyone else – he has also four European and Middle East titles. Furthermore, he has started from pole 49 times and won the Pole Position Championship an impressive eight times.
Top Ten – All Time
- A Al Zaffain 43/ 2. S Curtis 42/ 3. BR Gjelsten 34 / 4. N Bin Hendi 30 / 5. A Al Marri 27 / 6= S Al Tayer 18 / 6= A Nasser 18 / 8. K Harib 16 / 9. F Serralles 13 / 10= R Scism 10 / 10= JM Sanchez 10
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