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Dubai A total of 14 boats have confirmed for the third heat of the 2012 UIM X-Cat World Powerboat Series to be held off the Mina Seyahi waters of the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) this weekend (Friday/Saturday). Led by the Qatar Team of Mohammed Al Nasser and Hamad Jassim Mohammed at the top of the standings with 600 points, the 14-boat field is headed towards an exciting round of action with a clutch of other boats in contention for honours. Prominent among the challengers is former champions Extreme Marine who are currently in third overall with 422 points and the Swiss-American duo of Omar Danial and Gary Ballough in their boat Mouawad in second position with 450 points. The home team of Mohammed Al Marri and Arif Al Zafein in Fazza will also be a force to reckon with, especially after they picked up maximum 400 points in the opener at the same venue earlier last month. “This race will be decisive for a few teams as it will throw forward those who are serious contenders to the title and those who are not,” said Extreme Marine driver Al Marri. “Besides these boats there are a few more that look competitive, especially the Americans who can adapt well in rough water. So we will be going all out for maximum points in an attempt to consolidate our position and be genuine contenders for the world title this season,” he promised. Yesterday, the mandatory official practice was held between 2-3.30 pm followed by the drivers’ briefing. The Spirit of Abu Dhabi pair of Ahmad Al Suwaidi and Ahmad Mohammed Hassan topped the time chart with a beat time of 2 minutes, 17.49 seconds, while Sky Dive Dubai was second best with 2:17.67 and Fazza was in third with a time of 2:17.90. “It can be anyone’s race on Saturday, depending on what sort of start they get,” Sid Bensalah XCAT Series Promoter said. “Tomorrow (Friday) the weather is going to be gusty with winds going up to 20 knots, so our decision to have the race on Saturday is a wise one. It’s an even field and we can expect some good excitement among all the boats on the water,” Bensalah added. “Tomorrow’s heat 3- 2012 XCAT Series  race will be an other test to see who is consistent from the start all the way to the finish,” Mohammed Hareb- Race Director said. Meanwhile, today there will be a Safety Seminar conducted by Bob Wartinger and Paul Hicks from 2.30 to 5 pm. On Saturday, the Pole Position will be run from 10.30 to 11.30 am followed by the start of the race at 3.30 pm.

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