ZHENGZHOU (CHINA): Sunday, October 15: Victory 3’s Salem Al-Adidi and Eisa Al-Ali and Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori repeated their 1-2 finish in the second of the weekend’s XCAT races at the Zhengzhou Grand Prix on Longhu Lake.
In gloomy conditions, the Dubai-based crew led from start-to-finish to hold off the challenge from their great Emirati rivals for the second successive day to take an early advantage in the eight-race UIM XCAT World Championship. Both teams were the class of the field, while Australian Brett Luhrmann and Norway’s Pal-Virik Nilsen rounded off the podium places in the Blue Roo.
The experienced Giovanni Carpitella and Joakhim Kumlin finished fourth in 222 Offshore and the Italian pairing of Serafino Baresi and Alessandro Barone completed the top five with Fujairah Racing 20. Dubai’s Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Briton Scott Williams improved on their performance from Saturday to claim points for ninth place.
“It would have been nice to take a win this weekend, but we have started the XCAT programme with two strong finishes and have put ourselves in a good position to maintain the challenge for the title over the next couple of weeks,” said Team Abu Dhabi’s Al-Tayer.
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.
Gloomy and smoggy conditions prevailed over Longhu Lake for the start of the second race of the weekend. Victory 3 maintained their advantage over Team Abu Dhabi 5 from the green flag, through the first corners and to the end of the opening lap. The Dubai crew began to edge away from Team Abu Dhabi, with the Blue Roo running in third and Al Wasl enjoying a better run than the previous day.
Long lap strategies came into play over the subsequent few tours and the Blue Roo came under pressure from Caccia Engineering in the mist, as Swecat Racing stopped with technical issues in the middle of the course and slowly headed towards the pontoon.
Victory 3 continued to edge away from Team Abu Dhabi and the procession continued through the closing laps with Al-Adidi and Al-Eisa claiming a second victory of the weekend by the margin of 22.34 seconds to earn a 10-point lead in the title race.
Eleven boats took to the water for Sunday morning’s official practice session and the Blue Roo topped the times with a best lap of 2min 11.566sec, although the stint was more about getting a good set-up for the race. Team Abu Dhabi only ran for two laps.
The series resumes at Weihei in China, next weekend (October 20-22).
2017 Zhengzhou Grand Prix – race 2 result:
1. Victory 3 – Salem Al-Adidi (UAE)/Eisa Al-Ali (UAE) 30min 44.68sec
2. Team Abu Dhabi 5 – Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) @22.34sec
3. The Blue Roo (Team Australia) 8 – Brett Luhrmann (AUS)/Pal-Virik Nilsen (NOR) @36.96sec
4. 222 Offshore 10 - Giovanni Carpitella (ITA)/Joakhim Kumlin (SWE) @54.45sec
5. Fujairah Team 20 – Serafino Barlesi (ITA)/Alessandro Barone (ITA) @1min 05.34sec
6. New Star 9 – Mikhail Kitashev (RUS)/Dmitry Vandyshev (RUS) @1min 12.15sec
7. Caccia Engineering 22 - Diego Testa (ITA)/Daniele Martignoni (ITA) @1min 16.07sec
8. Lady Spain 46 – Roberto Lo Piano (ITA)/Andrea Comello (ITA) @1min 37.45ec
9. Al Wasl 7 - Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Scott Williams (GBR) @1min 55.02sec
10. Raheeb 17 – Abdullatif Al-Omani (KWT)/Mustafa Al-Dashti (KWT) 1 lap behind
DNF. Swecat Racing 2 - Mikael Bengtsson (SWE)/Erik Stark (SWE) 4 laps behind
2017 UIM XCAT World Championship – latest standings:
1. Victory 3 – Salem Al-Adidi (UAE)/Eisa Al-Ali (UAE) 70pts
2. Team Abu Dhabi 5 – Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) 60pts
3. The Blue Roo (Team Australia) 8 – Brett Luhrmann (AUS)/Pal-Virik Nilsen (NOR) 48pts
4. Caccia Engineering 22 - Diego Testa (ITA)/Daniele Martignoni (ITA) 38pts
5. 222 Offshore 10 - Giovanni Carpitella (ITA)/Joakhim Kumlin (SWE) 34pts
6. Fujairah Team 20 – Serafino Barlesi (ITA)/Alessandro Barone (ITA) 33pts
7. New Star 9 – Mikhail Kitashev (RUS)/Dmitry Vandyshev (RUS) 25pts
8. Swecat Racing 2 - Mikael Bengtsson (SWE)/Erik Stark (SWE) 22pts
9. Raheeb 17 – Abdullatif Al-Omani (KWT)/Mustafa Al-Dashti (KWT) 15pts
10. Lady Spain 46 – Roberto Lo Piano (ITA)/Andrea Comello (ITA) 10pts
11. Al Wasl 7 - Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Scott Williams (GBR) 9pts