H2O Racing
Union Internationale Motonautique


June 16, 2024

Sunday, June 16:  Canadian driver Rusty Wyatt led from start-to-finish and stormed to victory to collect 10 valuable championship points in the first of the two Sprint races at the Regione Sardegna Grand Prix of Italy in Olbia on Sunday morning.


The rookie held off defending World Champion Jonas Andersson through the opening turns and then pulled away from the rest of the field to secure the win by 9.463 seconds. Double World Champion Sami Seliö moved up to third at the start of the race and held his position to secure the final step on the podium for the Red Devil-SMC F1 Team.


Wyatt said: “He (Jonas) got one heck of a start and was pulling me for a second but we have to commit to lanes. I had to push him out. He gave us some room and we pulled away in the calmer water. We had it all out there and wanted to see what the boat could go in the calmer waters. We hope that we can pull this one off this afternoon.”


The line-up for the first of the Sprint races featured pole position winner Rusty Wyatt, rival Swedes Jonas Andersson and championship leader Erik Stark at the front of the nine-boat list. Stefan Arand lined up in fifth, followed by Sami Seliö, Marit Strømøy, Ben Jelf, Maverick Racing’s Cédric Deguisne and Duarte Benavente.


The race was shortened to 15 laps. Team Vietnam’s Andersson made a perfect start but Wyatt held the inside line and maintained the lead from the World Champion. Seliö made a storming break from the pontoon and moved into third at the expense of Stark. Benavente’s ongoing engine issues thwarted his challenge and the Portuguese pulled out of the race.


Wyatt continued to edge away from the hard-pushing Swede and the Canadian had increased his lead to 5.947 seconds after four laps in calm water conditions. Wyatt then posted the fastest lap of the weekend – a run of 36.962sec – and extended his cushion over Andersson still further to 7.184sec.


The leaders held station through the subsequent laps and Wyatt stormed to victory with Andersson, Seliö, Stark and Arand rounding off the top five. Jelf managed to pass Strømøy to secure sixth and Deguisne finished eighth.