XCAT Team Abu Dhabi 4 wins in Hangzhou to tie series lead


Hangzhou Grand Prix, October 19-21


· Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori finish fourth; sixth place for Dubai Police

HANGZHOU (CHINA): Saturday, October 20: Team Abu Dhabi 4’s Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al-Mansoori overtook the Dubai Police crew of Nadir Bin Hendi and Arif Saif Al-Zafeen to hit the front at the start of the Hangzhou Grand Prix on the Qiantang River in the Xiaoshan District of Hangzhou City on Saturday and they held on to seal a convincing victory and storm into contention for the UIM XCAT World Championship title.

With the bit between their teeth after the performance in Shanghai last weekend, the team running out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) duly tied with their Emirati rivals in the title race heading into the second of the Hangzhou races on Sunday.

The 222 Offshore crew of Italy’s Giovanni Carpitella and Australia’s Darren Nicholson delivered a useful performance to finish in second position, while Team Australia’s Blue Roo crew of crew of Pål-Virik Nilsen and Jan Trygve Braaten were third.

Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori maintained their championship challenge with fourth place and Dubai Police limped home in sixth after seeing a massive series lead evaporate in the third of six Chinese XCAT races in three successive weekends.

Shaun Torrente said: “Abu Dhabi gives us the best boat and this is a fantastic result for us. Now we are tied for the lead in the championship after this race result. Now we have a big chance to win the championship.”

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 (ADIMSC) 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.

Talib Al-Sayed said: We are feeling very positive about the remaining races. It is important for us to maintain our momentum for the championship. I am very happy with the way the team is working but we must continue to push and increase the pressure on our rivals.”

Race 1

Team Abu Dhabi 4 and 5 lined up in second and fifth positions for the start of the opening 17-lap, 60.75Nm race in gloomy and calm conditions but it was disappointing news for Swecat Racing, who were sidelined before the start after gear case issues before the start. The format was similar to the previous week with boats tackling one start lap, 14 normal race laps and two compulsory long laps.

Team Abu Dhabi 4 made a good start and applied the pressure on Dubai Police from the outset. Torrente and Faleh Al-Mansoori managed to hit the front and were followed through the opening turns by 222 Offshore and the Blue Roo, as Dubai Police slipped to fourth ahead of Team Abu Dhabi 5.

Team Abu Dhabi 4 continued to edge away from their rivals as 222 Offshore and the Dubai Police vied for second and third places and long lap strategies began to come into play with Team Abu Dhabi 5 down in seventh place. Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori climbed to sixth soon afterwards as Team Abu Dhabi 4 led from 222 Offshore, Dubai Poiice, the Blue Roo and HPI.

Over the subsequent couple of laps there were minor changes to the running order and Team Abu Dhabi 4 continued to lead from 222 Offshore, although the Blue Roo passed Dubai Police to snatch third and Dubai Police then slipped behind HPI and Team Abu Dhabi 5 and into sixth. New Star incurred a penalty lap and slipped to ninth.

Team Abu Dhabi 4 held on to claim the win from 222 Offshore and the Blue Roo, but sixth for Dubai Police dented their title challenge.

Pole Position

Pole Position qualifying was rescheduled to Saturday morning at 11.00hrs local time and developed into a virtual carbon copy of the previous day’s practice session. A resurgent Dubai Police claimed the bragging rights and pole position with a best lap of 2min 19.279sec to pip Team Abu Dhabi 4 to the premier starting position for the opening race.
The leading pair were almost two seconds up on the next trio of boats with the Blue Roo claiming third spot from 222 Offshore and Team Abu Dhabi 5. Videx and High Performance Italia (HPI) were next up, although all 12 boats managed at least one lap in the qualifying session.

The result enabled Dubai Police to extend their advantage over the Blue Roo and Team Abu Dhabi 4 in the UIM XCAT Pole Position Championship.

Official practice

Australian racer Darren Nicholson replaced Sweden’s Joakim Kumlin alongside Giovanni Carpitella in 222 Offshore with Kumlin switching to partner Andrea Comello in Pastamato 46. Otherwise the boats and crews were the same for the Hangzhou Grand Prix as those that competed in Shanghai last weekend.

The Dubai Police crew of Arif Saf Al-Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi bounced back to form with the quickest lap of 2min 22.659sec in Friday’s opening practice session on the Qiantang River. They pipped the Blue Roo’s Pål-Virik Nilsen and Jan Trygve Braaten by a mere 7/100ths of a second to the session win.

Team Abu Dhabi 4’s Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al-Mansoori were a close third and their Emirati team-mates, Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori, were fifth in Team Abu Dhabi 5 behind 222 Offshore.

Race two gets underway on Sunday afternoon at 15.00hrs (11.00hrs UAE time).

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

2018 UIM XCAT World Championship – positions after race 7 (unofficial):
1. Team Abu Dhabi 4 178pts
1. Dubai Police 3 178pts
3. Team Abu Dhabi 5 155pts
4. Team Australia 8 152pts
5. 222 Offshore 10 137pts
6. HPI 96 92pts
7. Kuwait 17 87pts
8. Venus Bali/Viniexsport/Pastamato 46 78pts
9. New Star 9 73pts
10. Yacht Club Como 20 67pts
11. Videx/Ribot 22 50pts
12. Swecat Racing 2 46pts
13. Maritimo 12 0pts

2018 UIM XCAT Pole Position Championship – positions after four rounds:
1. Dubai Police 3 131pts
2. Team Australia 8 121pts
3. Team Abu Dhabi 4 97pts
4. 222 Offshore 10 74pts
5. Team Abu Dhabi 5 66pts
6. Swecat Racing 2 45pts
7. HPI 96 42pts
8. New Star 9 37pts
9. Videx/Ribot 22 35pts
9. Yacht Club Como 20 35pts
11. Venus Bali/Viniexsport/Pastamato 46 31pts
12. Maritimo 12 26pts
13. Kuwait 17 20pts

- 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: 20/10/2018

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