XCAT Team Abu Dhabi finish second and fifth in Stresa Grand Prix of Italy


Stresa Grand Prix of Italy, July 6-8


· Dubai Police lead from start-to-finish to win race 1 on Lake Maggiore
· Team Abu Dhabi 4 and 5 qualify in fourth and ninth; pole for Dubai Police

STRESA (ITALY): Saturday, July 7: Team Abu Dhabi 4 and 5 finished second and fifth in the opening race of the Stresa Grand Prix of Italy, round two of the 2018 UIM XCAT World Championship, on Lake Maggiore in Italy on Saturday.

The Dubai Police crew of Nadir bin Hendi and Arif Saif Al-Zafeen led from the start and began to pull away from their rivals. Team Abu Dhabi 4, crewed by American racer Shaun Torrente and Emirati Faleh Al-Mansoori, moved up from fourth to second place on the start lap and played their long lap strategy well to shadow Dubai Police to the finish in second position to kick-start their title challenge. They closed the gap on the Dubai-based team to just 3.75 seconds at the end.

Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori moved through the field as the race progressed and reached the chequered flag in fifth place behind the Italian Giovanni Carpitella and his Australian throttleman Darren Nicholson in 222 Offshore and the Blue Roo crew of Pål-Virik Nilsen and Jan Trygve Braaten. The result moved the two Team Abu Dhabi boats into an unofficial equal third in the championship standings.

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.

Race 1

Team Abu Dhabi 4 and 5 started the 17-lap race from fourth and ninth of the 12 entrants. The contest was fought out over a start lap, 14 race laps, two long laps and 55.43Nm with the race starting with three groups of four boats. Dubai Police held the lead from Team Abu Dhabi 4 after a strong initial challenge from the Blue Roo (Team Australia).

But Dubai Police managed to edge into a good lead from Team Abu Dhabi 4 and 222 Offshore. The gap was 3.54 seconds between the leading two boats on the next lap, as Team Abu Dhabi 5 held eighth of the 12 boats and the Blue Roo took the first of their long laps on the second tour.

Dubai Police stretched their lead over Team Abu Dhabi 4 to over nine seconds and 222 Offshore retained a distant third position from New Star. Yacht Club Como reportedly hit a buoy after running both their long laps in ninth position, as Swecat Racing began to slow with engine issues and came under pressure from Team Abu Dhabi 5, which snatched fifth on lap six.

Neither Dubai Police nor Team Abu Dhabi 4 had taken either of their long laps by lap seven, as Swecat Racing retired with engine problems on lap nine and Team Abu Dhabi 4 began their first long lap and Team Abu Dhabi 5 climbed into fourth place and began to feel pressure from the Blue Roo.

Dubai Police opted for a first long lap with a lead of 34 seconds, safe in the knowledge that they would maintain a slight advantage over Team Abu Dhabi 4, although Torrente and Al-Mansoori opted for their second long lap to avoid running in dirty water and slipped to third behind 222 Offshore. The Blue Roo began to run wide to avoid the wake from Team Abu Dhabi 5 as the race entered its closing stages and 222 Offshore took its second long lap.

Team Abu Dhabi 4 regained second position but was running 34 seconds behind Dubai Police after 12 of the 16 laps. There were no changes at the top of the leader board and Team Abu Dhabi 4 and 5 maintained second and fourth positions heading towards the chequered flag.

Dubai Police stayed clear of trouble to confirm the win and extend their lead in the UIM XCAT World Championship, as the Blue Roo survived a heart-stopping moment three laps from the end and finished ahead of Team Abu Dhabi 5 in fourth. New Star also survived a spectacular hook en route to the finish but slipped to 11th.

Pole Position

Team Abu Dhabi 4 and 222 Offshore staked early claims to pole position on Lake Maggiore followed by the Blue Roo – 1.674 seconds behind – Team Abu Dhabi 5, Kuwait, New Star, Venus Bali and Yacht Club Como. HPI 96 was the last of the boats to start their pre-qualifying session.

Team Abu Dhabi 4 then moved to the top of the standings with a run of 2min 27.255sec, as 222 Offshore trailed by less than a second and the Blue Roo held third place from Team Abu Dhabi 5 and Kuwait at the end of the first session where reaching the correct set-up was crucial. After a 15-minute break, the all-important final session would determine pole position, although 222 Offshore snatched the fastest time thus far by 2/100ths of a second in the last minute of the set-up stint. Dubai Police held third from the Blu Roo, Swecat Racing and Team Abu Dhabi 5, Kuwait, New Star and HPI.

The important 15-minute final stint fired into life and Yacht Club Como laid down the gauntlet with a 2min 32sec tour. Swecat Racing started well with a run of 2min 29.59sec only for Team Abu Dhabi 4 to snatch provisional pole with a time of 2min 29.54sec. Yacht Club Como then ran even faster to snatch the lead with a run of 2min 28.6sec and the Blue Roo slotted into second with a tour of 2min 28.9sec. The Italian’s lead was short lived, however, and Dubai Police stormed to the top with a fastest run of 2min 27.7sec and demoted Team Abu Dhabi 4 to fourth.

The Blue Roo (2min 27.370sec) then moved four-tenths of a second ahead of Dubai Police to snatch the lead with four minutes of the session remaining, only to see Dubai Police regain the advantage on the very next lap with a 2min 27.163sec. Yacht Club Como held third, Team Abu Dhabi 4 was fourth and Swecat Racing qualified in fifth. Team Abu Dhabi 5 qualified in ninth behind sixth-placed New Star, 222 Offshore qualified in seventh and the HPI Racing Team in eighth. Dubai Police confirmed pole position with an even quicker lap of 2min 26.962sec in the dying seconds. An oil pump failure and an engine change meant that Kuwait was not able to take part in the qualifying session.

Free Practice

Team Abu Dhabi 4 topped the times in Friday morning’s free practice session with Faleh Al-Mansoori and Shaun Torrente clocking a best lap of 2min 23.210sec during their 1-0-lap stint on the water. Series leaders Nadir bin Hendi and Arif Saif Al-Zafeen in Dubai Police were second with a time of 2min 24.631sec and Swecat Racing’s Mikael Bengtsson and Erik Stark were third. Only 10 of the 12 entries took to the water.

Dubai Police pipped Team Abu Dhabi 4 to the fastest time in the third practice session on Saturday morning, the Emirati crew clocking a best run of 2min 25.182sec. Torrente and Al-Mansoori recorded a best opening run of 2min 27.162sec during their three laps on the course, while Team Abu Dhabi 5 ran for six laps and were fifth.

The second of the weekend’s two races starts at 15.00hrs on Sunday afternoon.

2018 Stresa Grand Prix of Italy –race 1 result:
1. Dubai Police 3 - Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Nadir bin Hendi (UAE) 44min 45.9sec
2. Team Abu Dhabi 4 – Shaun Torrente (USA)/Faleh Al-Mansoori (UAE) @3.75sec
3. 222 Offshore 10 - Giovanni Carpitella (ITA)/Darren Nicholson (AUS) @27.39sec
4. Team Australia 8 – Pål-Virik Nilsen (NOR)/Jan Trygve Braaten (NOR) @44.04sec
5. Team Abu Dhabi 5 – Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) @1min 08.52sec
6. Yacht Club Como 20 – Serafino Barlesi (ITA)/Alessandro Barone (ITA) @1min 13.04sec
7. Ribot 22 – Alfredo Amato (ITA)/Daniele Martignoni (ITA) @2min 21.76sec
8. Venus Bali 46 – Andrea Comello (ITA)/Domenico Calderola (ITA) 1 lap behind
9. Kuwait 17 – Abdullatef Al-Omani (KUW)/Mustafa Al-Dashti (KUW) 1 lap behind
10. HPI 96 – François Pinelli (FRA)/Rosario Schiano (ITA) 1 lap behind
11. New Star 9 – Mikhail Kitashev (RUS)/Dmitry Vandyshev (RUS) 3 laps behind
12. Swecat Racing 2 - Mikael Bengtsson (SWE)/Erik Stark (SWE) 10 laps behind - DNF

2018 UIM XCAT World Championship – positions after race 3 (unofficial):
1. Dubai Police 3 105pts
2. 222 Offshore 10 66pts
3. Team Abu Dhabi 5 52pts
3. Team Abu Dhabi 4 52pts
3. Team Australia 8 52pts
6. New Star 9 49pts
7. Fujairah/Venus Bali 46 37pts
8. Kuwait 17 36pts
9. Videx/Ribot 22 28pts
10. CRB Offshore/HPI 96 27pts
11. Swecat Racing 2 26pts
12. Yacht Club Como 20 15pts
13. Maritimo 12 0pts

2018 UIM XCAT World Pole Position Championship - after two rounds:
1. Dubai Police 3 70pts
2. The Blue Roo 8 60pts
3. Team Abu Dhabi 4 37pts
4. 222 Offshore 10 34pts
5. Swecat Racing 2 28pts
6. Maritimo 12 26pts
6. Team Abu Dhabi 5 26pts
6. Yacht Club Como 20 26pts
9. New Star 9 23pts
10. Venus Bali 46 17pts
11. HPI 96 15pts
12. Ribot 22 10pts
13. Kuwait 17 6pts

- 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: 07/07/2018

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