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The countdown is on for a return to action for the UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series. In exactly a month, teams will be heading east for the sixth round of the Series, which is due to take place at Ningbo Meishan Bay in China from November 8-10. Literally translated, Ningbo means ‘serene waves’. And current Series leaders Fazza will certainly be hoping the venue lives up to its name to give them a smoother ride on the flat water. The duo of Arif Al Zaffain and Mohammed Al Marri still hold the lead at the top of the overall table on 1201 points. But, having not claimed a race win since January in Abu Dhabi they’ll be keen to return to the top of the podium in China to consolidate that lead. A delegation from the World Professional Powerboating Association (WPPA) – organisers and promoters of the Series – travelled to Ningbo last week to finalise preparations ahead of next month’s event. The group, made up of WPPA Vice President Dr Khalid Al Zahed, WPPA Secretary General Sid Besalah, Managing Director of the Victory Team Arif Al Zaffain, Operations Director Pasquale Sesana and Sports Director Sebastiano Pellicchia were received by Hua Wei – President of the Organising Committee, Beilun District Mayor and President of the Meishan Bonded Port Committee. A welcome function was followed by a site visit to the event site where the group witnessed the ground work that the municipality of Ningbo together with the local organising committee have already done to prepare the venue for the XCAT event. This was followed by a trip to one of the city’s shopping malls for the nomination of Miss XCAT – an exciting initiative by local organisers involving the local community, where 14 women will ultimately be selected as Miss XCATs and will carry the flags of the participating teams at the event in November. “We are very excited to be taking the Series to China for the first time,” said Bensalah. “We had two wonderfully successful races in Italy in September – our first venture outside of the United Arab Emirates, and this event in China is a further important step in the Series’ global expansion. “The Ningbo Binhai municipality and the Local Organising Committee have put in a great deal of work in order to make this possible and we look forward to partnering with them in seeing this work come to fruition in November. “The Ningbo Meishan Bay will provide a new challenge for the teams and I have no doubt we’re going to see some great action once again,” added Bensalah of the event, which will be held under the auspices of the Chinese Motorboat Federation, in cooperation with the Ningbo Bonded Port Administration Committee. Located in Zhejiang province on the East coast, Ningbo is one of China’s oldest cities, dating back to 4800BC and now boasts the world’s second largest port. It is second only to Shanghai, located 220km to the North. With a population of just over seven million, it remains an important business and trading hub for the country while also enjoying a rich cultural heritage. After racing comes to an end in China, the 2103 UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series will conclude in the UAE in December.

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