XCAT Home grown talent hoping to shine for Team Abu Dhabi in Fujairah
TEAM ABU DHABI
HOME GROWN LOCAL TALENT HOPING TO SHINE FOR TEAM
ABU DHABI IN XCAT WORLD SERIES OPENER IN FUJAIRAH
Faleh Al-Mansoori/Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori/Al-Qamzi to represent Team Abu Dhabi
14 boats and finest offshore drivers on the planet entered in opening XCAT race
ABU DHABI (UAE): Monday, April 4: After just missing out on UIM XCAT World Series glory to XDubai in a thrilling finale to the 2015 championship, Team Abu Dhabi returns to action at this weekend’s season opener in Fujairah eager to repeat last year’s race one victory and kick-start what the team hopes will be a triumphant season.
Management at the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) have laid faith in home grown local talent as well and, in a bid to strengthen Team Abu Dhabi’s challenge for honours this year, two XCAT offshore boats have been entered in the championship and will take centre stage on the Gulf of Oman on Thursday and Friday.
The impressive line-up of Rashed Al-Qamzi and Majed Al-Mansoori will crew Team Abu Dhabi 4 and Faleh Al-Mansoori and Rashed Al-Tayer will race in Team Abu Dhabi 5: a line-up that could well catapult the team to top of the points’ standings after the opening race on Friday evening.
“We were obviously delighted with the way everything went last season and are confident that the team can build on those achievements this year,” said Salem Al-Romaithi assistant general manager of the ADIMSC. “It was a proud moment for everyone connected with the club when we won our first Class 1 world championship and then went on to clinch the Team’s trophy in the UIM F1 H20 World Championship.
“Saying that, we still have unfinished business in the XCAT World Series and I am delighted that we are able to field two boats this season in our bid to win the title for the first time. We have also opted to use our four talented Emirati crew members to the full and give each of them a superb chance to shine in the global spotlight of the XCAT World Series.”
Faleh Al-Mansoori and Al-Tayer have fond memories of a superb victory on the East coast of the UAE last February that gave them the early lead in the XCAT series and set them up for a grandstand battle with XDubai for the title over the later rounds. This season, all XCAT boats will also be equipped with Mercury’s new four-stroke engines for the first time to comply with new championship regulations.
“We are confident that we can win,” said Al-Tayer. “This is our only goal, so we are optimistic that we will do something special in Fujairah and finish first – same as before. We like the four-stroke engines very much because they are more environmentally friendly. We know the competition is going to be tough, but we have prepared well and everyone is looking forward to the new season. The XCAT World Series title is one that evaded us last year and one that is top of our list of priorities in 2016.”
This year’s XCAT World Series will be fought out over a minimum of five rounds in Fujairah, Dubai, Lugano, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the possibility of another two races in Asia in September and October. Next weekend’s opening XCAT round on the Gulf of Oman has attracted a provisional 14 entries and is being organised by the Fujairah International Marine Club in conjunction with the World Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA).
Challenging hard to retain their XCAT world title and likely to give Team Abu Dhabi a run for their money will be the XDubai pairing of Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi, but Team Abu Dhabi knows that the Six crew of the experienced Italians, Matteo Nicolini and Tomaso Polli, cannot be discounted either.
The Fujairah Team’s Italian crew of Serafino Barlesi and Alessandro Barone will be hoping for success on home waters, Swedish F1 racer Erik Stark teams up with Mikael Bengtsson in Swecat Racing and last year’s Dubai race winners, Alfredo Amato and Joakim Kumlin, are entered in Videx.
The Australian duo of Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton return for more XCAT racing action in Gold Coast and the Italian pairing of Giovanni Carpitella and Luca Fendi have considerable Class 1 offshore racing experience and are more than capable of reaching the podium in T-Bone Station on the tricky Fujairah course where strong winds and choppy seas are commonplace.
Other teams potentially on the final list include Mouawad, Altman Marine’s Lady Spain, Yacht, Marine Investimenti Sud, Raheeb and Globalmarine, the opening round therefore, bringing together some of the finest offshore drivers and throttlemen on the planet.
Team Abu Dhabi is sponsored by Etihad Airways and runs under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and chairman of the board of directors of the ADIMSC.
Qualifying, practice and speed runs at the 2016 Fujairah Grand Prix take place on Thursday (April 7), with further practice and the Grand Prix taking centre stage on Friday (April 8).
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For further media information and information about Team Abu Dhabi:
Please contact: Khalid Al Saadi, Media Incharge, Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, P.O. Box 45656, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Mobile Telephone: + 971 50 768 6761, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.