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Larvik Lessons Learned

Chris Davies on 15th July 2022

The quietly spoken Italian offshore racer Serafino Barlesi can now add the title of 2022 UIM Class 3D World Champion to his impressive list of awards, after his closest series rivals fell by the wayside at the penultimate round of this year’s championship held in Larvik, Norway.


It’s fair to say that the race certainly did not go the way that the Banca Generali backed team had planned, when they made an error in counting the laps they had completed.


Even after radio messages from the team and race control had advise Barlesi and his co-pilot Francesco Calo that they had completed the ten laps, the pair carried on and completed a further two, much to everyone’s surprise and amazement. It was almost like they were doing a ‘lap of honour.’


When the triumphant pair reached the harbour, their boat including the pilots were weighed. It was only at that point they realise that they were underweight by twenty-five kilogrammes.


The race officials then proceeded to double-check all their measurement’s but even after an extremely thorough review they still concluded that the entry was under-weight and could potentially face disqualification.

Now their fate lay in the hands of the Race Jury headed up by its Chairman, Mr Harald Halvorsen along with input from the UIM Sport Commissioner, Mikael Lundblad and the UIM Technical Commissioner, John Lasschuit.


Considering the fuel weight lost through their miscalculation of the number of laps, they concluded that a three-minute penalty should be applied to their race time.


This meant that Erik Sundblad Johansen and Pål Virik Nilsen inherited the race victory and were both understandably delighted to be on the top step of podium at the awards ceremony.

When PRW spoke to Virik Nilsen he said.


As you can understand we were both incredibly happy with getting a second place. Then when Barlesi got a penalty, and we got first well it’s just the perfect bonus. I take any victory I can get but I do feel sorry for him but that’s racing sometimes.

Making his debut in the Rashed Al Merri built catamaran, sponsored by Energima Gruppen AS, Virik Nilsen also said that they had a dreadful start to the race.

I had to back off just before the green flag went up. When I then pushed again on the throttle, I had no power and all the competitors passed us. Anyway, we managed to overtake them all except Barlesi. We tried to catch him and were remarkably close on several occasions. I felt I had to push over the limit to really catch him. At the stage we are now it’s not worth it because we need more time in the boat and not ruin the good start we have now made.

Barlesi’s closes rival in the championship was the French team of François Pinelli and Saul Bubacco onboard Espace Power but reliability doubts had begun to creep during the mornings practice session.

Yesterday I had no issues, today I have no rpm.

It wasn’t long after the race had got underway before the French pair were limping back into the harbour. One engine was down on power, and the other engine had snapped a drive shaft inside the gear case. Pinelli was far from happy.

Never in my entire racing career have I broken a gearbox, now I come to Norway and in less than a week I brake two, c’est incroyable.

Gearbox woes also accounted for Alfredo Amato and Roberto Lo Piano onboard D-69 Marco. They will now go into the final round on Saturday with everything still to play for in the medals table.

POS No Name Race One Race Two Race Three Race Four Race Five Total
1 D20 Banca Generali 400 300 300 400 300 1700
2 D1 Espace Power 300 200 400 RET RET 900
3 D2 Energima 169 RET 225 DNS 400 794
4 D69 Marco RET 169 169 300 RET 638
5 D10 Sabbie di Parma 225 400 DNS DNS DNS 625
6 D17 De Mitiri 127 127 DNS DNS 254 254
7 D8 Hose Technology RET RET DNS DNS 0 0

Photos. Chris Davies/PRW


Burgers supplied by Mr. Lars Inge Graver

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