11 September 2014, Dubai – The World Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA) has recently strengthened ties with the Chinese Powerboat Association, but announced on Monday that due to several issues regarding local promoters in Ningbo and Hailing Island, the fifth and sixth rounds of the UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series will no longer take place in China. While planning for the events, which were due to take place in October and November, was going full steam ahead, several hiccups at local level have led to the postponement of the races scheduled there until 2015. In the meantime, and to avoid such situations in the future, a groundbreaking agreement has been signed between the WPPA and the Chinese Powerboat Association in Beijing.
WPPA Vice President Dr Khalid Al Zahed, WPPA Secretary General Sid Bensallah and Victory Team Managing Director Arif Al Zaffain travelled to China to meet with the Secretary General of the Chinese Powerboat Association Wan Hongjun and the Director of Powerboat and Sailing for the Chinese Watersports Federation, Xinpei Yao. This important agreement is aimed at sports exchange and promotion of water sports at all levels and will involve an element of education as well – with the training of Chinese race officials in various powerboating activities during the UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series. Also part of the agreement is the WPPA’s support for up and coming Chinese talent in Aqua-bike events – with the opportunity for Chinese participants to compete in the UAE International Aqua-bike Series – in conjunction with the UAE Marine Sports Federation. The two bodies also pledged to work together in enhancing community awareness of water sports by finding ways of boosting the audience in China via a variety of media platforms. Various XCAT projects will also be utilised to create a strong bridge between the city of Dubai and the various cities in China which host rounds of the UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series.
“While it is a pity that we will not have any XCAT races in China this year, we are thrilled with the outcome of our meetings with the Chinese Powerboat Association in Beijing,” said Al Zahed. “The agreement that has been signed between the WPPA and the Chinese body marks a very important step towards the promotion and expansion of the UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series in China. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement which will see the development of local participants and officials involved in powerboating in China. “We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship well into the future.” The next and final round of the 2014 UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series will now take place in Dubai, UAE from 11-13 December.