XCAT Turn buoy penalty robs Team Abu Dhabi 5 of victory in race one in Shanghai


Shanghai Grand Prix, October 12-14


· Team Abu Dhabi 4’s Torrente and Al-Mansoori second in title race after runner-up spot
· Team Australia’s Blue Roo wins opening Shanghai race; Dubai Police stops late on

SHANGHAI (CHINA): Saturday, October 13: Team Abu Dhabi began its three-week UIM XCAT World Championship campaign in sensational style to seal victory and third overall in race one at the Shanghai Grand Prix on Dishui Lake on Saturday afternoon. But a 30-second penalty imposed after the race by race officials for striking a turn buoy cost Team Abu Dhabi 5 the win and handed victory to Team Australia’s Blue Roo and lifted Team Abu Dhabi 4 into second position.

The two boats running out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) qualified in second and fourth places for the first of the two Shanghai races and Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori made two superb starts in the red-flag interrupted race to reach the chequered flag well ahead of Team Australia’s Blue Roo crew of Pål-Virik Nilsen and Jan Trygve Braaten to seal what looked like a first win of the season until the time penalty was imposed. The punishment dropped them to fourth place.

Team Abu Dhabi 4’s Shaun Torrente and Emirati Faleh Al-Mansoori had qualified in second and were also running strongly in the first part of the race. When the series leading Dubai Police crew of Nadir Bin Hendi and Arif Saif Al-Zafeen retired with technical issues after the second start, they carried out their own long lap strategy successfully and reached the chequered flag in third position and moved up to second place in the championship standings behind their Dubai rivals. With the time penalties for their team mates, Torrente and Faleh Al-Mansoori were handed second place in the final results.

Faleh Al-Mansoori said: “We passed a lot of boats in the last five laps. When the crash happened (Videx 22) we had not done our long laps and we had to really push at the end. It was a huge day for us in the points. Our team-mates were also very fast. They just made the one mistake that cost them the win. We needed a day like this with Dubai Police not scoring so many points and that was thrown the championship wide open.”

HPI 96’s Francois Pinelli and Giuseppe Schiano Di Cola finished third and the Kuwait crew of Abdullatef Al-Omani and Moustafa Al-Dashti rounded off the top five behind Team Abu Dhabi 5.

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 made a superb start from second and fourth places, as did Dubai Police and the pole-sitting Blue Roo to retain their top four places in the overall standings at the start of the 17-lap race. Team Abu Dhabi 5 moved up to second place with their team-mates in third and Dubai Police in fourth.

The Blue Roo extended their lead to 4.5 seconds over Team Abu Dhabi 5 through the opening two laps, as the likes of Yacht Club Como and Viniexsport ran their two compulsory long laps early in the race.

By lap four, the Blue Roo continued to lead from Team Abu Dhabi 5 and 4, Dubai Police, HPI 96, Kuwait, Swecat Racing, 222 Offshore, New Star Racing and the rest of the field followed in their wake with long lap strategies exaggerating some of the gaps in the running order through the early stages.

The Blue Roo extended their lead to over seven seconds as the leading four boats held station through six laps. Then, the Videx 22 boat dug in at a turn buoy, spun and flipped out of the running with neither Alfredo Amato nor Daniele Martignoni injured in the crash. The race was red flagged, as the stricken boat began to take on water and the crew were taken to the pits for medical checks.

Action resumed in the shortened race with an official restart behind the pace cat that nullified the gains made in the original race. The Blue Roo retained its lead from Team Abu Dhabi 4, Dubai Police and Team Abu Dhabi 5, although the leading four boats all still had to take their long laps. Soon afterwards, Team Abu Dhabi 4 slipped to sixth after taking their first long lap.

Dubai Police ground to a halt with a technical issue in the closing stages and lost their place in the top three and threw the title race wide open. The Blue Roo took their long laps and this strategy gifted the lead to Team Abu Dhabi 5, as Team Abu Dhabi 4 ran a second long lap. With time and laps running out, Team Abu Dhabi 5 held on to claim the win from the Blue Roo and Team Abu Dhabi 4 filled the final podium position to throw the title race wide open.

The 30-second time penalty was later imposed on Team Abu Dhabi 5 and the Blue Roo sealed the win.

Pole Position

Pole position qualifying was postponed until Saturday morning with teams tackling two practice sessions instead on the Dishui Lake course. A UIM technical official had been delayed by a visa issue and race organisers liaised with teams and cae to the decision to hold pole position at 11.00hrs on Saturday.

Team Abu Dhabi 4 and 5 qualified in second and fourth places with the Blue Roo snatching pole position with a best lap of 2min 9.718sec. Torrente and Faleh Al-Mansoori were a mere 0.162sec behind in second place, Dubai Police rounded off the top three with a lap of 2min 10.736sec and Team Abu Dhabi 5 made sure that the qualifying session was a tense one with fourth place and a lap of 2min 11.316sec. 222 Offshore was fifth.

Official Practice

Team Abu Dhabi dominated the second of the two official practice sessions in Shanghai on Friday, after the Blue Roo’s Pål-Virik Nilsen and Jan Trygve Braaten had carded the best lap of 2min 11.269sec during their 11 laps on the water in the first session.

Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al-Mansoori were up to speed from the outset and the Team Abu Dhabi 4 crew clocked the second fastest time of 2min 13.130sec to slow into second with 222 Offshore’s Giovanni Carpitella and Joakhim Kumlin in third. Dubai Police and Team Abu Dhabi 5 finished the opening session in fourth and fifth of the 12 boats.

But Team Abu Dhabi was not to be denied in the second practice session and Torrente and Al-Mansoori topped the times with a run of 2min 13.115sec to beat their team-mates Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori by 1.159 seconds after running just five laps in the session. The Blue Roo rounded off the top three, while the series leading Dubai Police crew of Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi were a subdued fourth.

Sunday’s second race at the Shanghai Grand Prix gets underway at 14.30hrs (10.30hrs UAE time).

2018 Shanghai Grand Prix – race 1 result:
1. The Blue Roo 8 – Pål-Virik Nilsen (NOR)/Jan Trygve Braaten (NOR) 35pts
2. Team Abu Dhabi 4 – Shaun Torrente (USA)/Faleh Al-Mansoori (UAE) 30pts
3. HPI 96 – François Pinelli (FRA)/Giuseppe Schiano di Cola (ITA) 26pts
4. Team Abu Dhabi 5 – Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) 22pts
5. Kuwait 17 – Abdullatef Al-Omani (KUW)/Moustafa Al-Dashti (KUW) 18pts
6. 222 Offshore 10 - Giovanni Carpitella (ITA)/Joakhim Kumlin (SWE) 15pts
7. Swecat Racing 2 - Erik Stark (SWE)/Sebastien Groth (SWE) 12pts
8. New Star 9 – Mikhail Kitashev (RUS)/Dmitry Vandyshev (RUS) 10pts
9. Viniexsport 46 – Andrea Comello (ITA)/Rosario Schiano Di Cola (ITA) 8pts
10. Yacht Club Como 20 – Serafino Barlesi (ITA)/Domenico Caldarola (ITA) 6pts
11. Dubai Police 3 - Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Nadir bin Hendi (UAE) 5pts
Videx 22 – Alfredo Amato (ITA)/Daniele Martignoni (ITA) DNF

2018 UIM XCAT World Championship – positions after race 5:
1. Dubai Police 3 145pts
2. Team Abu Dhabi 4 112pts
3. Team Australia 8 109pts
4. 222 Offshore 10 107pts
5. Team Abu Dhabi 5 89pts
6. Kuwait 17 66pts
7. HPI 96 59pts
7. New Star 9 59pts
9. Venus Bali/Viniexsport 46 55pts
10. Yacht Club Como 20 39pts
11. Swecat Racing 2 38pts
12. Videx/Ribot 22 36pts
13. Maritimo 12 0pts

- 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: 13/10/2018

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