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25 February 2015, Fujairah – The opening round of the UIM XCAT World Series promises to be a thrilling one if the first Official Practice in Fujairah this afternoon is anything to go by.

Fazza – quickest in practice today

The top seven boats all recorded fastest laps within four seconds of each other, with two of those boats being new entries – Abu Dhabi Team (Rashed Al Tayer and Faleh Al Mansoori) fourth fastest in 2:38.17 and Gold Coast, Australia (Tom Barry-Cotter and Pal Virik Nilsen) sixth in 2:38.92. Fastest for the day were defending Series champions Fazza (Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi) who sped around the course in 2:35.04. Their Victory Team teammates, Dubai (Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali) were hot on their heels with a fastest lap of 2:35.93. Al Adidi and Al Ali are a new combination in the Dubai boat, and Team Manager Mohammed Al Marri was particularly impressed with their progress. “For a first time, they did a great job,” he said. “We did a week of practice in Dubai and they did very well.”

Dubai – hot on the heels of the leaders

Speaking about the addition of four new teams to the Series, Al Marri added: “We are very happy to see all the new teams. This is making us work harder and it’s good to have more competition. We wish them good luck for tomorrow and Friday.” One of those new teams is, of course, the Gold Coast boat which was unveiled by mayor of Gold Coast City, the honourable Tom Tate, in Fujairah this morning as part of the city’s commitment to hosting the fifth round of the Series in August this year. XCAT action continues tomorrow (Thursday) as the teams battle it out for Pole Position at 9.30am. This will be followed by the thrilling head-to-head Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run at 2.30pm with the main event, the Fujairah GP taking place at 3.30pm on Friday. Entry for the general public is free of charge.

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