Mark BoggisA NEW world champion has been crowned on international waters…and there is a real family affair behind the stunning success.Lowestoft & Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club powerboat drivers Scott Curtis and Brian Shulver were all smiles after making it a one-two for Britain in the 2009 Formula 4 World Powerboat Championships at the weekend.Mark Boggis
A NEW world champion has been crowned on international waters…and there is a real family affair behind the stunning success.
Lowestoft & Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club powerboat drivers Scott Curtis and Brian Shulver were all smiles after making it a one-two for Britain in the 2009 Formula 4 World Powerboat Championships at the weekend.
And for a 'proud' Joy Shulver, who was cheering on from the pits at the sunny Dunaujvaros venue on the Danube in Hungary, there was double joy as her son Scott lifted the world title for the first-ever time while her husband Brian took the runners-up spot for another first.
Their amazing achievements in the catamaran class brought the curtain down on a superb season, with honours coming after four highly-competitive rounds in France, Portugal and Hungary.
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Scott, 25, a plumber who was trained at Lowestoft College and now lives in Norwich, won the final round of the world F4 series at the weekend to fittingly triumph overall.
Brian, 52, from Oulton Broad, has raced in the World Championships many times with his highest finishing position being fourth - up to now, as he collected the second-placed runner-up medal at the weekend.
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For both, after overcoming serious injuries over the years, this was the pinnacle of their careers.
After starting as a junior aged nine, Scott was crowned British Sprint Champion in 1999, before an accident in the boat in 2005 led to him dislocating his knee and breaking his kneecap.
This led to a change of class and in 2006 he moved to the F4 class, where he has since been British Champion in 2006 and 2008 and the Anglo-Irish Champion for 2006 to 2008.
After starting his racing career aged 19, Brian raced in the monohulls between 1982 to 1991 with much success.
He changed to catamarans in 1991 and raced in the F4 world championships many times, with a highest fourth place finish, he switched to the F2 class between 1998 and 2003.
But after amazingly surviving from breaking his back in an accident in the F2 on Oulton Broad, which destroyed the boat, he bounced back to continue in the F4 class since 2004.
In 2005 he was crowned Anglo-Irish Champion, and has also collected many podium finishes nationally, while racing in the Rouen 24 hour race as part of the British team between 2006 to 2008.
Delighted therefore to be part of the weekend's success, Joy Shulver told The Journal: 'There is no-one more proud than me, as I am Scott's Mum and Brian's wife.
'Winning this title is the culmination of many years of hard work for both teams in bringing the trophy back to their home club, LOBMBC.'
This year's championship has seen 22 drivers take part overall, with the British team consisting of five drivers who are all based at LOBMBC - Brian Block, Brian Shulver and Mark Williams all from Lowestoft, Scott Curtis from Norwich and John Masters from Ipswich.
In the first round of the series at Epinay Sur Seine, Paris on the weekend of June 6/7, Scott's Team 61 had finished in second place with 17 points, with Brian's Team 61 in fourth place.
The championships then moved with a 3,000-mile round trip to Portugal at the beginning of July for rounds two and three at the Barca d'Alva, racing on the river Duro.
The second round was held on July 4 'in very hot weather of over 40 degrees,' according to Mrs Shulver. But this didn't deter Scott and Brian Shulver who both had 'fantastic races' in finishing in first and second places,
The third round was held the following day on a changed course, with Scott taking second and Brian fourth.
Taking the long road to Hungary for the final round at the weekend, Scott and Brian were still leading the championship but they both still needed to score good points to guarantee bringing the trophy home.
On a course that was very similar to Oulton Broad, a very young unknown Hungarian driver Aaron Tabori set the fastest lap in time trials and gained pole position.
But despite the new lad leading, Scott was determined that he would finish the championship with a race win.
'His greater experience showed as he pushed Aaron hard and managed to pass him on lap 10,' Mrs Shulver said. Scott held on to win in style by finishing first while Brian finished third to complete a uniquely memorable family double.
Final overall standings:
Scott Curtis Great Britain 74 points
Brian Shulver Great Britain 58 points
Marie-Line Hericher France 44 points