FUJAIRAH (UAE): Friday, April 13: Team Abu Dhabi brought one of its two boats to the finish of the second race of the Fujairah Grand Prix in fourth overall on Friday afternoon. The 17-lap tussle on the demanding Indian Ocean course drew a curtain on round one of the 2018 UIM XCAT World Championship.
Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori finished fourth in Team Abu Dhabi 5 – their new American-built MTI – but Team Abu Dhabi 4’s Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al-Mansoori were forced out of a race that was held in mixed weather conditions after five laps after challenging for second position. They had been running as high as third place through the early stages. Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori now hold fourth place in the championship standings, with Torrente and Al-Mansoori slipping to ninth.
Nadir bin Hendi and Arif Saif Al-Zafeen sealed a second successive victory in Dubai Police 3 to start their season with a maximum 70-point score. Team Australia recovered well from their non-finish on Thursday to reach the finish in second place and New Star’s Mikhail Kitashev and Dmitry Vandyshev were third after being passed by their rivals on the final lap.
Team Abu Dhabi 4’s Torrente said: “It was disappointing. We were actually battling for second on lap six and then took a bit of a flyer, a bit sideways and broke the cowling and the trim. It was a tough day but we were happy with the boat.”
Etihad Airways is the official carrier for Team Abu Dhabi that is also supported by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and runs under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and chairman of the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club and under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, Vice-President and CEO of the ADIMSC.
The racing team runs under the auspices of the ADIMSC and board member and general manager Salem Al-Remeithi, while the XCAT team is managed by Talib Al-Sayed.
Teams started the second of the weekend’s races from the positions that they finished race one on Thursday afternoon. That meant Dubai Police 3 headed 222 Offshore and Swecat Racing into the green flag, with Team Abu Dhabi’s 4 and 5 lining up in fourth and seventh positions. Damage sustained by Maritimo in a start lap accident in race one kept the Australian crew out of the race that was held over one start lap, 14 normal laps and two long laps.
Action began in calmer conditions but the wind strengthened after around five laps and then Team Abu Dhabi 4 left the fray. Dubai Police continued to lead from New Star and Team Abu Dhabi 5 through lap 11, after Swecat Racing retired and 222 Offshore began to slow on the subsequent lap.
New Star was the last of the surviving crews to take a second long lap and the Russians maintained second place after lap 13, but Team Australia managed to find a way passed Team Abu Dhabi 5 on the 15th tour of the course and snatched third place. The flying Norwegian duo then managed to overtake New Star on the last lap to finish second behind Dubai Police.
UIM XCAT racing resumes in late summer with several race meetings in China, although the final calendar and actual venues are still being finalised.
2018 Fujairah Grand Prix – race 2 result:
- Dubai Police 3 – Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Nadir bin Hendi (UAE) 44min 37.49sec
- Team Australia 8 – Pål-Virik Nilsen (NOR)/Jan Trygve Braaten (NOR) @17.34sec
- New Star 9 – Mikhail Kitashev (RUS)/Dmitry Vandyshev (RUS) @32.56sec
- Team Abu Dhabi 5 – Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) @48.20sec
- Kuwait 17 – Abdullatef Al-Omani (KUW)/Mustafa Al-Dashti (KUW) @1min 14.98sec
- CRB Offshore/HPI 96 – François Pinelli (FRA)/Rosario Schiano (ITA) @1min 43.79sec
- Fujairah 46 – Diego Testa (ITA)/Andrea Comello (ITA) @2min 27.61sec
- 222 Offshore 10 – Giovanni Carpitella (ITA)/Darren Nicholson (AUS) @2min 34.67sec
- Videx 22 – Alfredo Amato (ITA)/Joakhim Kumlin (SWE) 4 laps behind
DNF. Team Abu Dhabi 4 – Shaun Torrente (USA)/Faleh Al-Mansoori (UAE)
DNF. Swecat Racing 2 – Mikael Bengtsson (SWE)/Erik Stark (SWE)
DNS. Maritimo 12 – Tom-Barry Cotter (AUS)/Ross Willaton (AUS)
2018 UIM XCAT World Championship – positions after race 2:
- Dubai Police 3 – Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Nadir bin Hendi (UAE) 70pts
- New Star 9 – Mikhail Kitashev (RUS)/Dmitry Vandyshev (RUS) 44pts
- 222 Offshore 10 – Giovanni Carpitella (ITA)/Darren Nicholson (AUS) 40pts
- Team Abu Dhabi 5 – Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) 34pts
- Team Australia 8 – Pål-Virik Nilsen (NOR)/Jan Trygve Braaten (NOR) 30pts
- Kuwait 17 – Abdullatef Al-Omani (KUW)/Mustafa Al-Dashti (KUW) 28pts
- Fujairah 46 – Diego Testa (ITA)/Andrea Comello (ITA) 27pts
- Swecat Racing 2 – Mikael Bengtsson (SWE)/Erik Stark (SWE) 26pts
- Team Abu Dhabi 4 – Shaun Torrente (USA)/Faleh Al-Mansoori (UAE) 22pts
- CRB Offshore/HPI 96 – François Pinelli (FRA)/Rosario Schiano (ITA) 21pts
- Videx 22 – Alfredo Amato (ITA)/Joakhim Kumlin (SWE) 16pts
- Maritimo 12 – Tom-Barry Cotter (AUS)/Ross Willaton (AUS) 0pts