TEAM ABU DHABI SENDS TWO-BOAT XCAT TEAM TO LAKE MAGGIORE FOR STRESA GRAND PRIX OF ITALY
· Rashed Al-Tayer, Majed and Faleh Al-Mansoori and Shaun Torrente to crew Team Abu Dhabi boats
Action in the 2018 UIM XCAT World Championship resumes on Lake Maggiore this weekend and Team Abu Dhabi has entered two boats in the Stresa Grand Prix of Italy in a bid to close the gap on the championship-leading Dubai Police entry.
Nadir bin Hendi and Arif Saif Al-Zafeen claimed back-to-back wins in Dubai Police at the opening two races of the series in Fujairah in April – on an event where Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori made their first appearance in Team Abu Dhabi’s new American-built MTI (badged as Team Abu Dhabi 5) – and finished in a solid fourth position in the second of the races on the Indian Ocean course to hold a similar position in the championship.
The Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) entered Faleh Al-Mansoori and Shaun Torrente in Team Abu Dhabi 4 at the opening round and the partnership continues in Stresa with Torrente on throttles and fresh from his weekend’s F1 H2O racing on Lac Leman in south-eastern France. The duo currently hold ninth position in the championship standings after the first round.
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.
Talib Al-Sayed said: “I am delighted to see XCAT racing back in Stresa, which is considered for me as one of the finest spots for powerboat racing. We still don’t have a clear picture as to the future shape of the championship, but we hope that it will progress in the right direction and, as Team Abu Dhabi, we’re ready to help and support the XCAT Championship and work together with the rest, as long as there is respect for the rules and equal treatment for all concerned.
“It’s still too early and difficult to anticipate who will win the championship or even the next races. Most of the teams delivered good performances in Fujairah, some not, like the two Australian boats, which I am sure will perform better. On the other hand, Italian boats have the chance to test on Lake Maggiore and find the right set-up.
“Team Abu Dhabi was unlucky in Fujairah. Boat five had lots of technical issues and we managed to sort them out. It wasn’t the day for boat four and they couldn’t make it to the podium. But we still have full confidence in our driver line-up, as most, if not all, are participating in other water sports activities. We are in the process of building the foundations and infrastructure for what we hope will be an exciting future.”
Fifteen boats are expected to battle for honours on Lake Maggiore, including Dubai Police, Team Australia, New Star, Fujairah, Swecat Racing, Lady Spain, Videx, 222 Offshore, Raheeb, Gasbeton and Maritimo.
Team Abu Dhabi 4’s Torrente said: “Me and Faleh hit it off straight away at the first round and we had a great feeling in the boat at the end. Unfortunately we had a mechanical problem. The boat was very fast and we were fighting for second. Hopefully we can continue that momentum. We have some data feedback and we have some new propellers. Stresa should be pretty quick being on a lake.
“I am really looking forward to it. It should be good. The guys have modified the boat a little more as well. They have moved the weight around the way we asked. It’s going to be fast!”
Racing action will take place on Lake Maggiore in close proximity to the beautiful Borromean Islands, the iconic location where the first ever powerboat race was held in 1903. The event is being staged by the City of Stresa in co-operation with ASD Cantiere Nautico Taroni and the Federazione Italiana Motonautica (FIM) under the auspices of the UIM.
Stresa is a commune on the shores of Lake Maggiore in the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in the Piedmont region of northern Italy about 90km north-west of Milan
Teams will be permitted free practice (09.30-11.00hrs) and pole position qualifying (14.00-15.15hrs) on Friday (July 6) and a pair of races on Saturday and Sunday (July 7-8) – both starting at 15.00hrs – and preceded by further free practice opportunities at 10.00hrs each day.
2018 UIM XCAT World Championship – positions after race 2:
1. Dubai Police 3 – Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Nadir bin Hendi (UAE) 70pts
2. New Star 9 – Mikhail Kitashev (RUS)/Dmitry Vandyshev (RUS) 44pts
3. 222 Offshore 10 – Giovanni Carpitella (ITA)/Darren Nicholson (AUS) 40pts
4. Team Abu Dhabi 5 – Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) 34pts
5. Team Australia 8 – Pål-Virik Nilsen (NOR)/Jan Trygve Braaten (NOR) 30pts
6. Kuwait 17 – Abdullatef Al-Omani (KUW)/Mustafa Al-Dashti (KUW) 28pts
7. Fujairah 46 – Diego Testa (ITA)/Andrea Comello (ITA)
8. Swecat Racing 2 – Mikael Bengtsson (SWE)/Erik Stark (SWE) 26pts
9. Team Abu Dhabi 4 – Shaun Torrente (USA)/Faleh Al-Mansoori (UAE) 22pts
10. CRB Offshore/HPI 96 – François Pinelli (FRA)/Rosario Schiano (ITA) 21pts
11. Videx 22 – Alfredo Amato (ITA)/Joakhim Kumlin (SWE) 16pts
12. Maritimo 12 – Tom-Barry Cotter (AUS)/Ross Willaton (AUS) 0 pts