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3 April 2016 – It’s been a busy last few months for the Swecat team who are hoping for big things when the 2016 UIM XCAT World Powerboating Series kicks off in Fujairah on 7-8 April.

Adding to the excitement of starting their second season in the Series is the prospect of putting the newly introduced, environmentally friendly four-stroke engines to the test for the first time.

Swecat - new engines“Obviously we have spent a lot of time during the offseason planning and project managing the re-rigging of our XCAT with the marvellous new Mercury Racing Verado 400 ROS,” explained Team CEO and Manager, Niklas Sjöö.

“Making any projections for the season feels slightly premature. Like most teams, we mainly hope to have the boat race ready, find the right props and have everything running properly and well balanced in time for the first race.

“Then we will see. Naturally, we hope to be competitive with the revised boat and new engines, and enable our very skilled young drivers to perform at the top of their ability. We at Swecat Racing are all extremely passionate about racing, and look forward to competing with all the strong and professional teams in the XCAT World Series in what promises to be a season that shows a clear direction for the future of offshore powerboat racing,” added Sjöö.

2015 UIM   World Powerboat Championship CASCAIS GRAND PRIX PORTUGAL UAE - 12th to 14th June 2015 © Raffaello Bastiani / WPPAThe Swecat team of Erik Stark and Mikael Bengtsson made their XCAT debut in 2015 and managed an impressive fifth position overall in the Series which was won by Victory Team’s Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi. They were third overall in the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run and at the end of their first year, the Swedish team even claimed the Best Team Marketing Award.

Sjöö admitted there are plenty of people to thank for getting the emerging team to the start line in Fujairah this weekend.

“We would like to take the opportunity to thank both Victory Team for great work on reinforcing and preparing our boat, Mercury Racing in the US for their hospitality and support, Mercury Racing in the UAE for first class support with set-up of the new engines, Fujairah Marine Club for hosting us during the testing,” he said.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 21:  Mikael Bengtsson and Erik Stark of Swecat Racing race in the Dubai Grand Prix on day three during the Fifth round of the UIM XCAT World Series where 14 boats are competing. XCAT, short for extreme catamaran, is one of the most challenging and extreme forms of powerboat racing in the world. XCAT racing truly is a spectacle of speed with teams of two taking each other on in twin-engined, carbon-fibre boats that tear around the course at speeds close to 200km/hr at Dubai International Marine Club on November 21, 2015 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images for XCAT) *** Local Caption *** Mikael Bengtsson; Erik Stark“Last but not least, Extreme Marine in Jebel Ali, Dubai, for allowing us to use their great facility during all installation work. We could not have done without all this great support.”

As for what XCAT fans can expect from the first race of the season, Sjöö added: “I think the crowd, as well as the huge international TV audience, is in for a real treat – a unique opportunity to watch the first live race with the new, incredibly powerful, engines, with a number of teams starting from scratch with a ‘blank slate’, and hopefully some spectacular action. A real wow race!”

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