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February 22, 2015, Dubai – Having watched the action as spectators in Dubai at the end of 2014, Antony de Fina and Brett Luhrmann are relishing the prospect of getting in the mix as one of four new teams to join the UIM XCAT World Series this weekend. The Australian duo will be racing with Team Saracen Australia when the new season kicks off in Fujairah, UAE from 25 to 27 February.

Secretary General of the World Professional Powerboat Association, Sid Bensalah (centre), with Antony de Fina (left) and Brett Luhrmann (right) who will join the UIM XCAT World Series in Fujairah this weekend.

“We have been watching the XCAT Series for a number of years and our visit to Dubai in December last year cemented our commitment to race in the Series,” explained De Fina “Having seen firsthand the XCAT World Series in Dubai last year, I have to say it’s without a doubt the premier offshore powerboat series in the world today. The Series is so well organised both on and off the water and we are honoured to be one of only 14 teams invited to compete,” he added. As for the new team’s aspirations in Fujairah, De Fina pointed out: “We’re certainly under no illusions as to how tough the competition will be and in the first race in Fujairah, we’ll basically be out there getting a handle on the boat and see how it reacts compared to what we’ve raced before. “There has been plenty of work on our new boat, which we sourced from the Middle East, so we’re keen to get to work and gain some valuable points in the Series.” Both De Fina and Luhrmann, as well as the rest of their support team, which includes Lori Luhrmann, Simon Isherwood and Gary Arnfield, bring with them plenty of racing experience. Throttleman De Fina has been racing offshore for over 20 years. His father raced in the 70s and worked with the famous Italian designer, Renato Levi.  He has won the Australian Super Cat 600hp championship multiple times and currently holds two Australian speed records (600hp and National A). Driver Luhrmann, meanwhile, has quite a resume of his own. He has been racing for over 25 years at national and international level and is two-time Australian 600hp champion. He has raced almost all forms of power boats including drag, hydro, offshore (up to Class 1) and circuit boats and is a record holder in barefoot speed skiing and water skiing While racing in the UAE will be special, the pair are most looking forward to racing in their own country when a round of the XCAT World Series will be held in Australia for the first time in August. “To be able to race in an international series in our country, on the Gold Coast, will for us be the most exciting round of the year. We will be doing all we can to perform at our best of home waters,” said De Fina. Official Practice will get underway in Fujairah on Wednesday, February 25, while the race for Pole Position takes place on Thursday morning at 10.30am and the thrilling head-to-head Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run at 3pm that afternoon. The main event, the Fujairah GP, takes place at 3.30pm on Friday, February 27. Entry for the general public is free of charge.        

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