XIAMEN (CHINA): Sunday, October 29: Choppy conditions and strong winds forced officials to cancel the second race at the Xiamen Grand Prix in China on Sunday. Winds in excess of 15 knots and choppy conditions meant the course was deemed unsafe and teams now head to Dubai at the end of November to decide the outcome of the 2017 UIM XCAT World Championship.
Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori had lined up in the race in seventh position after their disappointing finish to race one on Saturday and the Emirati duo face a fight back from third position in the championship standings at Mina Seyahi in five weeks’ time.
Team Australia’s Brett Luhrmann and his Norwegian co-pilot Pål Virik-Nilsen lead the championship by 11 points from Victory Team’s Salem Al-Adidi and Eisa Al-Ali heading back to the Middle East.
Etihad Airways is the official carrier for Team Abu Dhabi that is also supported by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and runs under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and chairman of the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club and under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, Vice-President and CEO of the ADIMSC. The racing team runs under the auspices of the ADIMSC and board member and general manager Salem Al-Remeithi.
Race 2 – cancelled
Positions from race one were used to determine the starting order for the last of the six Chinese XCAT races. Al Wasl, therefore, would lead the Blue Roo and Swecat Racing through the first gate, but Team Abu Dhabi had to play catch up from seventh place.
The wind had strengthened for race two to around 15 knots. It was going to be a rough race on the Pacific Ocean course that XCAT officials shortened on safety grounds to a start lap and 12 laps with no long laps to negotiate and include in the strategy.
The race boats assembled and began to follow the pace cat, which stayed out on the course for an extra lap on safety grounds before the decision was taken to suspend the race and the red flag was raised. Racing was cancelled soon afterwards.
The Blue Roo won the final Chinese practice session of the season on Sunday morning with a lap of 2min 15.810sec on their fifth lap of the course. Victory Team and Caccia Engineering ran them close, but Team Abu Dhabi and Swecat Racing did not start the session.
2017 UIM XCAT World Championship – standings after race 6 of 8:
1. The Blue Roo (Team Australia) 8 148pts
2. Victory 3 137pts
3. Team Abu Dhabi 5 116pts
4. 222 Offshore/Weihai–China/Miphere Xiamen 104pts
5. Swecat Racing 2 85pts
6. Al Wasl 7 81pts
7. Fujairah Team 20 71pts
8. Caccia Engineering 22 63pts
9. New Star 9 52pts
10. Raheeb 17 34pts
11. Lady Spain 46 22pts