Team Abu Dhabi to send two boats to inaugural Swiss race on Lake Lugano Victory Team’s Al-Zafeen and Bin Hendi lead series by 31 points from Swecat Racing

LUGANO (Switzerland): Tuesday, May 31:  The stunning Swiss location of Lake Lugano will play host to the third round of the UIM XCAT World Series this weekend (June 4-5) and what better place for Team Abu Dhabi to rekindle its title challenge in the prestigious world power boating series.  Team Abu Dhabi’s 5 crew of Faleh Al-Mansoori and Rashed Al-Tayer endured mixed fortunes at the opening two races in Fujairah and Dubai and currently hold seventh position in the championship standings, a mere three points behind sixth-placed T-Bone Station. The crew qualified on pole at race one, before retiring from the race with engine issues, and then climbed from fifth to finish second at the second race.

Victory Team’s Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi won the opening two rounds and have surged into an early season 31-point lead over Swecat Racing, with Dubai a further four points behind.

It has been a disappointing start to the year for Team Abu Dhabi 4’s Rashed Al-Qamzi and Majed Al-Mansoori, although the two crews from the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) have now arrived in Switzerland and are confident that they can challenge for podium honours on what promises to be a challenging course on the picturesque Swiss lake nestled between the mountains of the Lugano Prealps.

  Team Abu Dhabi, like many of the other 12 entrants at the Swiss race, have already made the successful transition to the new four-stroke Mercury XCAT ROS 400 engines that were introduced by race officials at the start of the season. 

“We had some challenging water conditions at the opening two rounds in the UAE and were obviously disappointed with our one result after setting a competitive pace at both races,” said Al-Tayer. “Lugano is an inland lake course, surrounded by mountains, and we can hopefully expect some calm water-conditions and little wind. We know that we have to push and try and get pole position and press for the win. The boats will have a different set-up and the strategy may be different but the goal is still the same.

” Several members of Team Abu Dhabi have extensive experience of racing at similar venues in Italy, such as Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, and their advice may well be invaluable to the crews of Team Abu Dhabi 5 this weekend.  

“The whole team is looking forward to racing at this exciting new location in the heart of Switzerland,” enthused Salem Al-Romeithi, assistant general manager of the ADIMSC.

“It’s been several weeks since we were in offshore action, although the entire team was buoyed by the superb class win achieved by other members of Team Abu Dhabi in the demanding 24 Hours of Rouen at the start of this month.

Team Abu Dhabi is sponsored by Etihad Airways and runs under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh 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 (ADIMSC). Lugano is the ninth largest city in Switzerland and lies to the south in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino.

It is a popular tourist destination often frequented by celebrities and sporting icons, and has built up the reputation of being the ‘Monte Carlo of Switzerland’.

Free practice, pole position qualifying and the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Runs will take place on Saturday (June 4th) and further practice and the inaugural Lugano Grand Prix take centre stage on Sunday (June 5th).

2016 UIM XCAT World Series – positions after round 2:

1. Victory Team                                      86 pts

2. Swecat Racing                                    55 pts

3. Dubai                                                   51 pts

4. Gold Coast Australia                        41 pts

5. Carpisa Yamamay                             39 pts

6. T-Bone Station                                  35 pts

7. Team Abu Dhabi 5                            32 pts

8. Six                                                         24 pts

9. Fujairah Team                                    17 pts

10. Lady Spain                                        15 pts

11. Spirit of France                                 12 pts

12. Team Australia                                 10 pts

13. Raheeb                                                8 pts

13. Team Abu Dhabi 4                            8 pts