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24 January 2014, Dubai – The Dubai Duty Free team of Pål Virik Nilsen and Tom Barry Cotter ventured onto the XCAT podium for the first time at the opening round of the 2014 UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series this afternoon. That’s after the Norwegian-Australian combination, who joined the Series in August last year, claimed third spot in the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run. It was once again Fazza (Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi) who showed their speed and class in taking top honours, beating Skydive Dubai’s Sultan Al Dhaheri and Jay Price in the final. They had already dispatched of Spirit of Dubai, Victory Team and the new addition to the Series, Yachts, in the earlier rounds. Skydive Dubai had booked their spot in the final by defeating Team Gibraltar, Qatar Team and eventually Dubai Duty Free. Meanwhile, Virik Nilsen and Barry Cotter earned their third spot by getting the better of Yachts (Francois Pinelli and Saul Bubacco) in the race-off for the final podium place, having beaten Mouawad and Six in the opening rounds. “It’s great, especially to do it in such a way where it was so close all the way,” said a thrilled Barry Cotter afterwards. Speaking about tomorrow’s main race, he added: “The race is obviously very different. The water was much calmer for today’s race and it really suits out set-up, so we’ll see how tomorrow pans out.” Virik Nilsen added: “We have made a few changes to the boat in the last few weeks but we’re not finished yet so we are still working on it. It looks really good though and we are happy that we’re moving in the right direction.” XCAT action continues tomorrow with the main race, the Dubai Grand Prix, taking place at 3.30pm. Entry at DIMC – Mina Seyahi is free to the general public.

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