Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali led from Pole Position to win an exciting fourth and final round and along with it the second spot in the overall standings of the 2016 UIM XCAT World Series at the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) breakwater on Friday.
Red-flagged after defending world champions Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi flipped on the very second lap of the race, Dubai 33 fought grimly to hold off the home team duo of Rashed Al Tayer and Salem Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 5 and secure the second spot behind Victory Team in the overall standings for the season.
Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Advisor to the Head of State and Chairman of the Board of directors of the ADIMSC, presented the various winners with trophies in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President of ADIMSC, Mohammed Al Mutaiwee from Victory Team, Mohammed Hareb from DIMC, and other top officials.
Despite running with a two-stroke engine, the T-Bone Station duo of Giovanni Carpitella and Ahmed Al Hameli came in a pleasing third place, just one second clear of Sweden’s Joakim Kumlin and former F1 champion Jay Price from the USA in Lady Spain.
The French-Italian pairing of Francois Pinelli and Saul Bubacco in Yacht followed in fifth, while sixth spot went to the Blue Roo duo of Brett Luhrmann of Australia and Pal-Virik Nilsen of Norway.
Swecat Racing, one of the four boats who were in with a chance of finishing runners-up behind Victory Team for the season had to stay content with seventh, while Kuwait’s Abdul Latif Al Omani and Khaled Burabee in Raheeb had to stay content with eighth spot leaving ninth place for Russian debutants, Mikhail Kitashev and Dmitry Vandyshev in their brand-new Victory Team-built New Star boat.
It was a disappointing end for Carpisa Yamamay as Alfredo Amato and Diego Testa were unable to start the race following mechanical issues with their boat. Scheduled to start in third place on the grid, the Italians had continued with their impressionable weekend while clocking the best time of 2:18.006 during the final official practice session on Friday morning. But plagued by mechanical issues, Carpisa Yamamay had to head back to the wet pits even before the green flag.
Four teams – Swecat Racing, Gold Coast Australia, Abu Dhabi 5 and Dubai 33 – had been in the reckoning for second overall going into the final round of the 2016 season.
However, Gold Coast Australia started experiencing problems with the steering, and despite some additional minutes when the red flag was out when defending world champions Victory Team flipped on the second lap, the Australia duo of Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton could not catch up and stay in contention to challenge Dubai 33 and Abu Dhabi 5 till the end.