15 November 2015, Dubai – They may have only missed the podium once this season, but the Italian team of Matteo Nicolini and Tomaso Polli are taking nothing for granted heading into the fifth round of the UIM XCAT World Series in Dubai this weekend.
Apart from that slight blip, the pair in boat Six, claimed second spot in the season opener in Fujairah and finished third in both Cascais, Portugal in June and the Gold Coast, Australia in August.
But with their success largely achieved in rough conditions this year, it’s Dubai’s usually flat water that could prove tricky. So Nicolini has taken steps to counteract the expected conditions at the Dubai International Marine Club – where entry for the general public to witness the spectacle of speed is free of charge this weekend.
“It’s not too bad that we got on the podium three times when the sea conditions were rough but we missed the podium in the Dubai race that was almost flat,” said Nicolini. “That meant that we needed to work on the boat to improve our speed performance and so that is what I am trying to do now for the last two races.
“I am working on some hull modifications that [boat builders] Victory are doing now. I also have a new set of props done for these two races and two new gear cases with different water intake.
“All of those upgrades should give us better performance to compete for a podium as well in this last two races,” he added.
There are just five points separating Six from Team Abu Dhabi (Rashed Al Tayer and Faleh Al Mansoori) who are second on 108 points, while XDubai (Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi) are well out in front with 131 points.
Meanwhile, the 19-21 November event will see the introduction of the new Mercury Racing four-stroke engines which were officially launched in the USA last week. The UAE’s only female XCAT driver Fatima Al Zaabi and Italy’s Gianpaolo Montavoci will be testing the environmentally friendly engines in the #NewBoss boat to give the Dubai crowd a sneak peak of what’s to come when the XCAT Series make the switch to the new engines next year.