The competition for the runner-up position in the Grand Prix of Sharjah, the final round of the 22nd edition of the UIM F1H2O World Championship, is heating up. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council, the event takes place at Khalid Lagoon from December 8-10.
Dutchman Ferdinand Zandbergen, captain of the Sharjah Team of Sharjah International Marine Sports Club (Boat Number 12), and the Swedish Erik Stark, captain of the Victory Team of Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) (Boat Number 4), aim to secure 20 points by winning the Grand Prix of Sharjah to clinch the runner-up title. This follows the captain of Team Sweden, the Swedish Jonas Andersson’s (Boat Number 14) championship victory after winning the last three rounds, competing in Sharjah with a 24-point lead over his closest rival, Zandbergen.
With 39 points, Ferdinand, and Stark, with 35 points, have strong chances to claim their first victory in the 22nd edition. Ferdinand, initially failing to score in Indonesia, swiftly recovered with second place in France and third in China and Italy in the last four rounds. Stark secured third in Indonesia, slipping to fourth in China and fifth in both France and Italy.
Ferdinand and Stark’s ambitions collide with Andersson’s goal of maintaining his title secured in the previous Grand Prix of Sharjah. This challenge is daunting given Andersson’s strong performance this season, topping the chart by winning in China, France, and Italy despite a stumbling start in Indonesia.
Sharjah boats chasing the team title
The Sharjah Team, led by the Finnish Sami Selio and Zandbergen, targets the “UIM F1H2O World Championship” team title. Relying on fan support at Khalid Lagoon, they face a tough task with an 11-point difference behind Team Sweden. To win the Team World Championship, they must secure first and second positions in the Grand Prix of Sharjah, raising their points to 89, regardless of Team Sweden’s results.