Marit Strømøy of Sandefjord was one happy Norwegian this week after becoming the first woman in the world to win a Formula 1 boat race. She clinched the World Championship race off the United Arab Emirates over the weekend.
All of Strømøy’s competitors were men and the race from Sharjah was won over Team Abu Dhabi and a three-time World Champion. Roy Wetterstad, secretary general of the national racing federation Norges Motorsportforbund was mightily impressed.
“This is as sensational as if a woman from Saudi Arabia won a world championship race in cross-country skiing,” Wetterstad told newspaper Aftenposten. He called Strømøy’s victory “very well-deserved,” noting that she has “worked hard and seriously for many years.”
Strømøy, age 39, has been racing boats since 1989, and been active as the only woman on the Formula 1 circuit since 2007. Sharing the winners’ podium with her were fellow racers Alex Carella of Italy and Shaun Torrente of the US. Strømøy races for an Arabic team, EMIC, owned by another woman, Paul Gilman.
Strømøy also sings, and has competed in Norway’s version of the European Song Contest twice, as part of a group in 2005 and as a solo artist in 2006. She also sings professonally for Wallmans Salonger in Oslo.