Al-Zafeen, bin Hendi lead Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from start to finish; Al-Tayer and Faleh Al-Mansoori finish runners up in championship

Abu Dhabi, 27 November, 2015: XDubai’s Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi clinched the UIM XCAT World Series for the fourth year in a row today as Team Abu Dhabi were denied in their brave bid for a second world powerboat title inside a month.

 Entering the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix holding a fragile five-point lead over Rashed Al-Tayer and Faleh Al-Mansoori in Team Abu Dhabi 5, Al-Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi led the final round of the championship from start to finish, winning it by the comfortable margin of 25.42 seconds.

 The defending champions hit the front on the opening run from the green flag and played the long lap strategy to perfection to win from Giovanni Carpitella and Darren Nicholson in T-Bone Station.

 Al-Tayer and Faleh Al-Mansoori made a fierce challenge right to the finish of the 14-lap race, but lost time on the opening run and a different long lap strategy to eventually take third place and finish championship runners up in their first season of XCAT racing.

 “I tried to push but it was very rough out there so I played safe because it was important to finish the race and take second place in the championship in our first season in XCATs,” said Al Tayer at the end of the race, hosted by Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.

 Al Mansouri said: “It was dangerous with big waves, a lot of air and side by side racing, but we enjoyed it and well done to XDubai for winning the title again. It was our first season in XCATs so second in the championship is a very good result for us.”

 Al Tayer and Al Mansouri had been attempting to deliver a second world powerboat title to Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club to add to the UIM Class 1 triumph earned by John Tomlinson and Gary Ballough earlier this month, and will hope to go one better next year.

 There was disappointment for Majed Al-Mansoori and Rashed Al-Qamzi in Team Abu Dhabi 4 who went out with mechanical problems two laps from the finish.

 Al-Mansoori said: “We think may be the gearbox or the prop’ broke. Before that we were running ok. Rashed is new to this and he is learning, but I think he will be very good in the future and we’re looking forward to next season.”

 The American pairing of Jay Price and Shaun Torrente lost out on third place in the closing stages in Lady Spain and eventually finished fifth behind Dubai’s Salem Al-Adidi and Eisa Al-Ali.

 The two Team Abu Dhabi boats lined up in fourth and fifth positions at the start gate, with Dubai on pole and T-Bone Station and XDubai in close attendance. A good start was essential if Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori were going to beat XDubai to the title.

 A punishing start lap, six normal laps and four long laps were on the agenda in a race distance in excess of 54Nm. Boats had to run for at least 70% of the mileage to score championship points and Faleh Al-Mansoori admitted that Team Abu Dhabi had changed the set up and propeller settings on their boat to make them even more competitive for the race.

 The race started in the rougher water outside the Breakwater, passed by Lulu Island and then came inside to the calmer and less exposed water. Team Abu Dhabi 5 and XDubai made a great start and surged in front of Dubai in the rough water. But Abu Dhabi 5 ran wide and XDubai and T-Bone Station edged further ahead and began to pull away.

 A furious battle developed between Abu Dhabi 5 and Lady Spain for third and Jay Price and Shaun Torrente snatched the position heading into lap three. XDubai and T-Bone Station continued to dominate at the front, with the XDubai crew extending their lead to 7.4 seconds at the start of lap four of 14 and extending it to 9.2 seconds on the subsequent tour.

 Having lost time in traffic, Abu Dhabi 5 began to climb back through the field from sixth position behind XDubai, Lady Spain, T-Bone Station, Swecat Racing and Abu Dhabi 4.

 XDubai started a second long lap heading into the eighth tour of the course and their overall advantage rose to around 15 seconds.

 They took their final long lap on the penultimate tour of the course and managed to retain the lead heading into the final lap of the race, as T-Bone Station retained second and Abu Dhabi 5 climbed to third at the expense of Lady Spain.

 Team Abu Dhabi is supported by Etihad Airways as official carrier and sponsor. The team 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 ADIMSC.

 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – race result:

 1. XDubai                                           14 laps

2. T-Bone Station                                @ 25.42 sec

3. Abu Dhabi Team 5                          @ 55.97 sec

4. Dubai                                              @ 59.64 sec

5. Lady Spain                                      @ 1min 23.39 sec

6. Marine Investimenti Sud                @ 1min 26.79 sec, etc

 2015 UIM XCAT World Series – final standings

 1. XDubai                                           180 pts

2. Team Abu Dhabi 5                          166 pts

3. Six                                                   128 pts

4. T-Bone Station                                122 pts

5. Swecat Racing                                102 pts

6. Dubai                                              92 pts


 1.      Rashed Al-Tayer and Faleh Al-Mansoori in Team Abu Dhabi 5–  championship runners up in their first season in the UIM EXCAT World Series.

 2.      Second, First and Third place winners respectively Giovanni Carpitella and Darren Nicholson of T-Bone Station, Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi of XDubai, and Rashed Al Tayer and Faleh Al Mansoori of Abu Dhabi Team 5.