XCAT XDubai pips Team Abu Dhabi 5 to UIM XCAT title with Abu Dhabi win


Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, round 6 – November 25-27, 2015


Team Abu Dhabi 5 complete home race in third position; T-Bone Station finishes second

ABU DHABI (UAE): Friday, November 27: XDubai’s Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi hit the front on the opening run from the green flag and played the long lap strategy to perfection to record a stunning 25.42-second victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and claim the UIM XCAT World Series title on Friday afternoon.

In what developed into a thrilling climax to a pulsating Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Team Abu Dhabi 5 made a fierce challenge right to the finish of the 14-lap race, but lost time on the opening run and a different long lap strategy meant that they ran out just short of their Emirati rivals. Rashed Al-Tayer and Faleh Al-Mansoori duly passed the chequered flag in third position for the hosting Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC).

Italy’s Giovanni Carpitella and Australian colleague Darren Nicholson finished second in T-Bone Station and the American pairing of Jay Price and Shaun Torrente lost out on third in the closing stages in Lady Spain and eventually finished fifth behind Team Abu Dhabi 5 and Dubai’s Salem Al-Adidi and Eisa Al-Ali.

“We gave it our best shot today, but it was not meant to be,” said Al-Tayer. “XDubai made a good start and they made a small lead. We decided to get the long laps out of the way early, but it was not our day today. We came back well and I am pleased we have a podium finish, but it’s a little frustrating to fall just short at the final hurdle in the quest for that second world title this month.”

The two Team Abu Dhabi boats lined up in fourth and fifth positions at the start gate, with Dubai on pole and T-Bone Station and XDubai in close attendance. A good start was essential if Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori were going to overturn the five-points by which they trailed XDubai in the championship.

A punishing start lap, six normal laps and four long laps were on the agenda in a race distance in excess of 54Nm. Boats would need to run for at least 70% of the mileage to score championship points and Faleh Al-Mansoori admitted that Team Abu Dhabi had changed the set up and propeller settings on the number five boat to make them even more competitive for the race.

The race started in the rougher water outside the Breakwater, passed by Lulu Island and then came inside to the calmer and less exposed water. Team Abu Dhabi 5 and XDubai made a great start and surged in front of Dubai in the rough water, with XDubai holding a slight advantage. But Abu Dhabi 5 ran wide and XDubai and T-Bone Station edged further ahead and began to pull away from Abu Dhabi 5 and Lady Spain.

A furious battle developed between Abu Dhabi 5 and Lady Spain for third and Jay Price and Shaun Torrente snatched the position heading into lap three. XDubai and T-Bone Station continued to dominate at the front, with the XDubai crew extending their lead to 7.4 seconds at the start of lap four of 14 and extending it to 9.2 seconds on the subsequent tour.

T-Bone Station opted to run a first long lap, although Abu Dhabi 5 and Six had already run three of their compulsory four by the end of lap five and Abu Dhabi 5 had slipped to fifth as a result. Lady Spain climbed to second, but Yachts and the Fujairah Team were sidelined with mechanical issues.

XDubai ran a long lap on the next tour and retained the advantage over T-Bone Station, as Team Abu Dhabi 4 and 5 held sixth and seventh positions, having run several early long laps.

Abu Dhabi 5 lost a little time in traffic and began to climb back through the field from sixth position behind XDubai, Lady Spain, T-Bone Station, Swecat Racing and Abu Dhabi 4. XDubai started a second long lap heading into the eighth tour of the course and their overall advantage rose to around 15 seconds. But Matteo Nicolini and Tomaso Polli were struggling down in 11th place and their title challenge looked to have ended in the Six boat.

The Abu Dhabi 5 crew overtook their team-mates and climbed to fourth place, but XDubai, T-Bone Station and Lady Spain remained out in front and still had to run two long laps before the chequered flag heading into lap 10. XDubai were the next to take a long lap and were joined by Lady Spain and the latter retained third position behind XDubai and T-Bone Station.

XDubai ran their final long lap on the penultimate tour of the course and managed to retain the lead heading into the final lap of the race, as T-Bone Station held on to second and Abu Dhabi 5 climbed to third at the expense of Lady Spain. Dubai moved up well in the closing stages to finish fourth, Lady Spain slipped to fifth and Marine Investimenti Sud rounded off the top six. Team Abu Dhabi 4 withdrew with engine issues on the penultimate lap and Six also suffered ongoing engine issues.

Team Abu Dhabi is supported by Etihad Airways as official carrier and sponsor. The team 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 ADIMSC.

2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – race result:
1. XDubai 14 laps
2. T-Bone Station @ 25.42 sec
3. Abu Dhabi Team 5 @ 55.97 sec
4. Dubai @ 59.64 sec
5. Lady Spain @ 1min 23.39 sec
6. Marine Investimenti Sud @ 1min 26.79 sec, etc

2015 UIM XCAT WORLD SERIES – final standings
1. XDubai 180 pts
2. Team Abu Dhabi 5 166 pts
3. Six 128 pts
4. T-Bone Station 122 pts
5. Swecat Racing 102 pts
6. Dubai 92 pts, etc

- Ends -

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: alsaadi@adimsc.ae.


Date issued: 27/11/2015

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