22 August 2015, Gold Coast, Australia – Celebrations were the order of the day for Giovanni Carpitella at the Gold Coast GP today. Not only did the Italian racer take home his inaugural Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run title, but it was also his birthday.
Carpitella and Australian teammate Darren Nicholson overcame Marine Investimenti Sud (Serafino Barlesi and Alessandro Barone) in the final showdown of the head-to-head, drag race-style showdown in front of a crowd of 10,000 spectators at Doug Jennings Park.
But the drama of the day belonged to the Dubai duo of Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali who flipped their boat in the second round of the Speed Cat Run as they took on the XDubai team of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi.
Thanks to the speedy response of the safety team, the pilots emerged from the upturned boat completely unscathed – just a little shaken up, and chilly.
“It was a combination of factors. We were going at top speed because it was the finish line. And at that point the waves were getting higher so it all happened very quickly. But we’re both perfectly fine,” said Al Adidi, who is no stranger to finding himself upside-down in the boat. The last time was at the Napoli GP last May.
Meanwhile, back in the knock-out action, T-Bone Station had got the better of Lady Spain (Jay Price and Shaun Torrente) in their first round match-up before going on to beat Team Abu Dhabi (Rashed Al Tayer and Faleh Al Mansoori) in the second. The penultimate round saw them defeating Six (Tomaso Polli and Matteo Nicolini) before their clash with Marine Investimenti Sud in the final.
“I checked the wind and the tide and I decided a set-up on my boat according to this,” explained Carpitella. “It needed to be both a balanced boat and a fast one. And it worked because we were really steady but still we got to 185km/hour in just 1100m of the course, starting from 40km/hour.
“I was very glad to be able to sing my anthem on the podium. I could have sung it another two or three times this year,” added Carpitella, referring to the bad run of luck he has had with his boat when mechanical problems meant he lost out from potentially winning positions in the last few rounds.
XDubai won the race-off for third place against Six to complete the podium.
Racing continues tomorrow with practice in the morning and then the big race, the Gold Coast GP, scheduled for 2pm. Even larger crowds are expected to descend on Doug Jennings Park for the speedy spectacular and the great carnival atmosphere. Entry for the general public is free of charge.