Despite a second crash in as many races, Swecat Racing has promised to challenge the might of home Team Abu Dhabi and take excitement to new heights at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – the fourth and final round on the 2016 UIM XCAT World Series – this weekend.
With the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) hosting the first of three thrilling international powerboat races in the space of four weeks, spectators along the Abu Dhabi Breakwater will be treated to some great action.
Organised by the World Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA) in conjunction with the ADIMSC, the fourth race of 2016 brings down the curtain on a season of XCAT racing that started off in Fujairah and Dubai, went on to Lugano, Switzerland and now returns to Abu Dhabi.
With the Victory Team duo of Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi sealing yet another title, the fight will now be open for the runner-up spot in the championship, and this should be a fascinating affair.
The Gold Coast Australia duo of Tom-Barry Cotter and Ross Willaton will be hoping to keep off Swecat Racing’s Mikael Bengtsson and Erik Stark with a mere eight points separating the two boats. Dubai 33’s Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali are in fourth position, just nine points behind the Australians – and Team Abu Dhabi 5 is a further six points adrift in fifth place, meaning Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori can still challenge for second place.
However, there was action on the breakwater of Abu Dhabi during free practice late on Tuesday when Swecat Racing once again collided with another boat. The Swedes were involved in a similar situation during the Lugano Grand Prix in Switzerland in the penultimate round held in June. And had it not been for some hasty assistance from Victory Team and other competitors, the Swedish duo of Mikael Bengtsson and Erik Stark would not have been even able to race and keep their hopes alive.
“We were very happy with a sixth given that we had an engine lying in the water only three hours before the race,” recollected Niklas Sjoo of Swecat Racing.
“We have tested the boat with a slightly new rigging set-up and new propellers, and are really happy with the way it performs. We are ready to really push hard to defend our third position overall during the Abu Dhabi XCAT GP,” he added.
Team Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, are quite content that they can coolly go about targeting a second place overall on the podium and complete the season in a flourish. “We’ve got a good set-up for this race and we have good speed. I hope we will see Team Abu Dhabi at the front. We are fifth in the championship, the weather forecast is perfect and the target is a good result here to try and get the second place. We are aiming for that,” related Al Tayer.