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18 November 2015, Dubai – There’s all to play for when the 14 teams competing in the UIM XCAT World Series line up for round five in Dubai this weekend.

2015 UIM World Powerboat Championship CASCAIS GRAND PRIX PORTUGAL UAE - 12th to 14th June 2015 © Raffaello Bastiani / WPPAWith official practice scheduled for Thursday, final preparations are being done on the boats at Dubai International Marine Club ahead of what promises to be a mouth-watering showdown.

The three teams at the top of the overall Series standings are within striking distance of one another with two races to go this season, although it would take something special to catch the exceptional XDubai team who remain out in front after three race wins.

“We are expecting some good racing for the coming weekend,” said XDubai team manager Ragesh Elayadeth. “Pilots are trained for all conditions, but definitely home ground will give some sort of extra boost to the pilots, so they should be more competent in Dubai,” he added.

As for what makes the XDubai pair of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi (at the top of the table with 131 points) such a seemingly unbeatable combination, Elayadeth explained: “They have been racing with each other for so long. They both are eager to win the races and they know each other. In other words they are two bodies with one soul in a racing boat.”

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 23: Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Heindi of XDubai celebrate winning the Gold Coast Grand Prix - the fourth round of the UIM XCAT World Series on August 23, 2015 in Gold Coast, Australia, where 14 teams are competing. XCAT, short for extreme catamaran, is one of the most challenging and extreme forms of powerboat racing in the world. XCAT World Series truly is a spectacle of speed, with teams of two taking each other on in two-engined carbon-fibre boats that tear around the course at speeds close to 200km per hour. (Photo by Glenn Hunt/Getty Images via XCAT) *** Local Caption *** Arif Al Zaffain;Nadir Bin HeindiAsked whether the presence of the second-place Abu Dhabi Team (108 points) and third-place Six (103 points) not too far behind them on the standings adds more pressure going in to round 5, Bin Hendi maintained: “Challenges like this make you more competent, so we like challenges. It won’t add any pressure. Rather it will make us more focused.”

Al Zaffain added: “We are confident to defend our championship even though we expect tough competition from the other boats.”

Elayadeth is equally optimistic about the team’s chances at this weekend’s race – which the general public can attend free of charge.

“By looking at the weather forecast, it won’t be flat conditions. It will be little more choppy than normal so the crowd can expect an exciting race. All the boats are capable of winning a race on their day but yes, we are very confident about retaining the championship. We are cautiously confident.”

Also likely to be in the mix is the Gold Coast duo of Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton, who powered to second spot in their home GP in Australia in August. And also desperate for a bit of good luck will be the speedy T-Bone Station team of Giovanni Carpitella and Luca Fendi, looking to recover from a wretched season beset by mechanical problems.

The first official practice will get underway on Thursday, 19 November at 3pm while the race for Pole Position will take place on Friday at 9.30am. The thrilling head-to-head Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run will then kick off at 3.30pm that same day. The Speed Cat Run follows a drag race format in a 1km long all out spectacle of speed.

The main race, the Dubai GP will take place on Saturday, 21 November at 2pm.

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