12 August, 2015, Gold Coast – Calm, flat water or 6-foot waves… either scenario could be on the cards when the UIM XCAT Powerboat World Series hits the Gold Coast in Australia from 21-23 August.
That’s according to the home team, who can’t wait to get in on the action at Doug Jennings Park.
Tom Barry-Cotter has joined forces with fellow Queenslander Ross Willaton to take on the other 13 XCAT (extreme catamaran) teams in their Gold Coast, Australia boat and the duo are looking forward to seeing just what their home waters serve up on race day.
“Gold Coast can offer pristine calm conditions with no wind or waves and can be 6ft the following day,” said the 27-year-old driver.
“The Gold Coast course will offer its challenges to the XCAT pilots. There are strong currents and can be large waves on the course. I think knowing the conditions prone to the area will give us a slight head start in boat set-up early on during the weekend.
“However, I think our best advantage will come from racing in front of our home city. Our entire team will be very focused.”
Barry-Cotter described the excitement he felt when hearing the XCAT World Series would be visiting the Gold Coast for the first time.
“I could hardly contain myself when I first heard the Gold Coast would be hosting an XCAT event. I have been boating on Gold Coast waterways my entire life, so naturally it has always been a dream to race an international event here in front of friends and family.
Barry-Cotter and Willaton are certainly hoping their home advantage will get them to the podium, especially after Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said that’s what he’s expecting of the home team.
“There will certainly be a lot of pressure on us from our mayor and city to be fighting at the front,” admitted Barry-Cotter.
“So we have been working on the boat around the clock. We have been conducting a lot of testing with various set-ups that we predict will be close to that used for the Gold Coast GP. The boat also looks fantastic.”
While this will be their first XCAT race together, Barry-Cotter and Willaton are no strangers to each other in the boat – having achieved much success as a team in other classes of powerboating.
“Ross and I won the 2009 Australian Offshore Superboat Championship together. Ross also won the 2012 Supercat World Championship in Key West, USA so he is very experienced in outboard cats, winning many national titles in Class 3 6 Litre here in Australia.
“We are both Gold Coasters so this opportunity means very much to the both of us. As far as set-up goes – I am always looking to explore new ideas and try new things with the boat. Ross has years of experience and mechanical knowledge to put our ideas into the boat, so our skill sets work very well together.
“In the cockpit we have good chemistry, and have been very quick together in other classes.”
As for what their fellow Gold Coasters can expect to experience when the XCAT carnival arrives in town, Barry-Cotter reckoned: “Gold Coasters are known for their love of competition, excitement, and the outdoors. Fourteen XCATs fighting at 200+kmh across one of the world’s most stunning backdrops. The Gold Coast XCAT course will be very tight, so I expect the racing to be close and aggressive – Gold Coasters are in for a show.”
The XCAT show gets underway on Friday, August 20 and entrance for the general public is free of charge.
The XCAT Gold Coast GP is the fourth round of the UIM XCAT World Series – dubbed the greatest motorsport Series on water. Action will move from Australia to Nice, France for the fifth round in October, with the final two rounds of the Series scheduled for the United Arab Emirates in November.