ABU DHABI INTERNATIONAL MARINE SPORTS CLUB

AUSSIES SNATCH TEAM ABU DHABI’S XCAT WORLD TITLE WITH DRAMATIC WIN IN DUBAI

Penalty lap proves decisive as Torrente, Al Mansoori miss out to Maritimo in spectacular grand finale

 

 

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 14th December, 2019: Australians Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton clinched the 2019 UIM XCAT World Championship with victory in the Dubai Grand Prix today as Team Abu Dhabis Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori saw their hopes of a second successive title ended in dramatic style.

 A penalty lap imposed on the defending champions for missing a buoy in Abu Dhabi 4 proved decisive as Barry-Cotter and Willaton swept past them in Maritimo to win the weekends second race by 34.85 seconds from Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 5 

The Dubai Police crew of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi took third position ahead of Torrente and Al Mansoori whose fourth place in Abu Dhabi 4 following their race success 24 hours earlier gave them runners up spot in the championship. 

After a spectacular start, Abu Dhabi 4 clawed out a three-seconds lead over Maritimo before being dropped back by the penalty lap, with the pressure from Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton forcing a crucial misjudgement.

 “They were quick and we were pushing and I think we just pushed a little harder than we could without making mistakes,” said Torrente. “We missed a buoy and the race committee was quick about it, giving us a long lap penalty 

“So we just dealt with that and we pushed as hard as we could without making any more mistakes. We still had to keep second place in the championship in mind. That was not our goal so we fell short this year, but myself, Saleh and the rest of the team wont stop until we get the title back.”

 The American will barely have time to catch his breath ahead of an enthralling last week of the season in the UAE which will see Team Abu Dhabi aiming to collect another four world titles to add to the UIM F2 and endurance championships already won.

Torrente heads from Dubai to Sharjah in a commanding position to retain the UIM F1H2O driverscrown, as well as the team title with Thani Al Qemzi.

 Meanwhile, Rashed Al Tayer switches from powerboats with a fighting chance to claim a first world aquabikes crown in Runabout GP1, as Rashid Al Mulla bids to clinch a second successive world freestyle title with a tenth straight Grand Prix victory.

                                   

Dubai Grand Prix Race 2 results

1. Maritimo (AUS) Tom Barry-Cotter / Ross Willaton                                                          43.40.42

2. Abu Dhabi 5 (UAE) Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori                            44.15.27

3. Dubai Police (UAE) Arif Al Zaffain / Nadir Bin Hendi                                                    44.22.60

4. Abu Dhabi 4 (UAE) Shaun Torrente / Faleh Al Mansoori                                                 44.24.30

5. 222 Offshore (IT/AUS) Giovanni Carpitella / Darren Nicholson                           44.55.34

6. HPI Racing Team (IT) Rosario Schiano Di Cola / Guiseppe Schiano Di Cola      45.02.89

7. Victory Team (UAE) Salem Al Adidi / Eisa Al Ali                                                           45.43.81

8. Kuwait (KWT) Abdullatif Al Omani / Moustafa Al Dashti                                              46.15.64

9. De Mitri (IT) Roberto Lo Piano / Marco Di Cosmo                                                           44.04.30 + 1 lap

10. Videx (IT) Alfredo Amato / Saul Bubacco                                                                      44.34.48 + 1 lap

 

XCAT World Championship positions

1. Maritimo                 202pts

2. Abu Dhabi 4           193

3. Dubai Police            191

4. Abu Dhabi 5           169

5. 222 Offshore           107

6. HPI Racing Team  94

 

Captions:

1.      Team Dubai’s Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori - title race hinged on a penalty lap imposed

 2.      The world championship top three after receiving their trophies from H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai International Marine Club

 

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TORRENTE, AL MANSOORI EDGE CLOSER TO ANOTHER XCAT WORLD TITLE WITH DUBAI GRAND PRIX WIN

Team Abu Dhabi duo survive early scare to grab crucial victory on day of dramatic racing

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 13th December, 2019: Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori took a major step towards retaining their title in the UIM XCAT World Championship with victory in a dramatic Dubai Grand Prix today.

 The defending champions in Abu Dhabi 4 won the first of this weekend’s two races by 20 seconds from Australians Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton in Maritimo to regain the lead in the title race from the Dubai Police crew of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi who finished fourth.

Torrente and Al Mansoori, who began the season with back-to-back victories in Italy, will now look to repeat that feat in Dubai and secure a second successive XCAT world crown by winning race two tomorrow in what promises to be a spectacular grand finale.

They had an early scare today when one engine stopped, but so did the race soon afterwards when Russia’s Mikhail Kitashev and Dimitry Vandyshev in New Star Racing crashed spectacularly in tough conditions on the first lap.

From the re-start, Torrente and Al Mansoori had no more problems, and they go into the final day of the season holding a four-point championship lead over Barry-Cotter and Willaton, with Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi another two points adrift in third position.

Finishing third on the day, a fourth podium finish in a row, Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 5 were at the centre of some of the most breathtaking action as they went head-to-head with Maritimo for a succession of laps, finally being overtaken on the last after a superb battle.

The Australian crew had earlier clinched the overall pole position world championship by topping qualifying ahead of the two Team Abu Dhabi boats, but the morning’s calm conditions had been replaced by wind and choppy waters by the time the race got under way.

 A jubilant Al Mansouri said at the finish: “We had a problem at the start when one engine stopped. But after the re-start, we just re-started the engine and got of well into a good position. We had a good long lap strategy thanks to the radio man and the manager and that was very important.” 

Torrente said: “We have never had an engine problem like that before. We’re going to check it now but we had a good re-start and from there I just managed the race. It’s still really close in the championship and we’ll just go for the win tomorrow.”

 

Dubai Grand Prix Race 1 results (provisional)

1. Abu Dhabi 4 (UAE) Shaun Torrente / Faleh Al Mansoori                                   45.37.81

2. Maritimo (AUS) Tom Barry-Cotter / Ross Willaton                                            45.57.62

3. Abu Dhabi 5 (UAE) Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori                            46.10.01

4. Dubai Police (UAE) Arif Al Zaffain / Nadir Bin Hendi                                       46.43.89

5. 222 Offshore (IT/AUS) Giovanni Carpitella / Darren Nicholson                          47.04.90

6. Victory Team (UAE) Salem Al Adidi / Eisa Al Ali                                             47.14.57

7. HPI Racing Team (IT) Rosario Schiano Di Cola / Guiseppe Schiano Di Cola      47.33.67

8. De Mitri (IT) Roberto Lo Piano / Marco Di Cosmo                                           46.22.85 + 1 lap                        .

 

XCAT World Championship positions

 

1. Abu Dhabi 4           171

2. Maritimo                 167

3. Dubai Police            165

4. Abu Dhabi 5           138

5. 222 Offshore           89

6. HPI Racing Team  75

 

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TEAM ABU DHABI’S XCAT WORLD CHAMPIONS READY FOR ALL OUT TITLE FIGHT IN DUBAI

 

Torrente, Al Mansoori aim for back-to-back race wins to retain world crown

 

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 12th December, 2019: Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori ae ready for all conditions that the Dubai Grand Prix can create this weekend as they look to retain their title at the climax of the 2019 UIM XCAT World Championship.

 

The defending champions took to the water for official practice today with their sole intention to aim for back-to-back race wins in the final round of the series, regardless of any off-race developments.

 

On the eve of the first of two races in Dubai in the space of 24 hours, Team Abu Dhabi lost their appeal against the two 30-second time penalties imposed on Torrente and Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 4 after last month’s Shanghai Grand Prix.

 

The penalties dropped them from the championship lead to third place, seven points behind the Dubai Police crew of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi, but their focus today was on the possibility of dramatically changing sea conditions in Dubai.

 

“It was very rough out there, very windy with some big waves, but both our boats are stable,” said Al Mansouri, after he and Torrente set the third fastest lap in the first official practice session, which saw only seven of the 12 boats recording times.

 

“We have a good set-up and we pushed today and found that everything was good for us, so we are ready. Everything depends on the weather tomorrow. We’re hearing from the weather guys that the sea will be flat, and if that’s the case we’ll change the set-up for sure because today we were set-up for rough water. We’ll decide tomorrow about half an hour before the pole position race.”

Torrente said: “Our goal is still the same, to win the race. That’s what we knew we needed to do. For us the plan is still the same. Obviously we have more points to make up now than we thought, but that’s ok.”

 

Andrea Comello and Joakim Kumun in Consulbrokers set the early pace in official practice, with Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 5 recording the fifth quickest lap.

 

Both Team Abu Dhabi boats avoided today’s second official practice session which was won by Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali on the Victory Team’s return to XCAT Rac

 

Official practice 1 results

1. Consulbrokers Andrea Comello (ES) Joakim Kumun 3:13.871

2. Victory Team (UAE) Salem Al Adidi / Eisa Al Ali 3:23.924

3. Abu Dhabi 4 (UAE) Shaun Torrente / Faleh Al Mansoori 3.24.497

4. HPI Racing Team (IT) Rosario Schiano Di Cola / Guiseppe Schiano Di Cola 3.28.336

5. Abu Dhabi 5 (UAE) Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori 3:38.616

6. New Star Racing (RU) Mikhail Kitashev / Dimitry Vandyshev 3:51.462

7. Videx (IT) Alfredo Amato / Saul Bubacco 3:59.138

 

 

XCAT World Championship positions

 

1. Dubai Police 143

2. Maritimo  137

3. Abu Dhabi 4  136

4. Abu Dhabi 5  113

5. 222 Offshore  71

6. HPI Racing Team  60

7. The Blue Roo  48

8. New Star Racing  47

9. Swecat Racing  44

7. Kuwait  42

 

Caption:  Ready for all conditions in Dubai, Team Abu Dhabi’s defending champions Shaun Torrente 

                and Faleh Al Mansoori 

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AL QEMZI CROWNS SEASON WITH ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX VICTORY

Team Abu Dhabi’s F2 world champion rounds off brilliant campaign with historic win on home waters

 

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 7 December, 2019: Rashed Al Qemzi crowned his brilliant season in the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship today with an emphatic home victory in the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.

The Team Abu Dhabi driver, already installed as F2 world champion for the second time in three years, led from start to finish to record his fourth Grand Prix triumph of the year with 4.63 seconds      to spare from Portugal’s Duarte Benavente, with German Stefan Hagin third.

This success on home waters is the one that means most to Al Qemzi, particularly as he goes into the record books as the winner of the first ever UIM F2 race staged in the UAE capital.

The Emirati looked in complete control throughout, resisting Benavente’s challenge to pull away on the first lap, and refusing to be unsettled when the race was interrupted twice in quick succession following crashes by Sweden’s Johan Österberg and Dutchman Ferdinand Zandbergen. 

It has been an outstanding season for Al Qemzi from his opening round victory in Lithuania in June. Other victories followed in Italy and Portugal to clinch the title with one round to spare, adding to the Nations Cup and F4-S world championships he secured before his first F2 triumph in 2017.

He has benefitted enormously from the vast experience and influence of ten-times former F1H2O champion Guido Cappellini, who has guided Team Abu Dhabi to nine world titles in five years.

To broaden Al Qemzi’s experience of different race conditions and pressure, the shrewd Cappellini included him in the team’s top four-man crew for this year’s World Endurance Championships, which they duly won in Poland in July.

The opening free practice session in Abu Dhabi on Thursday saw Al Qemzi start in a boat being tested for next year’s championship, meaning Cappellini and the Emirati driver were already thinking ahead to a third F2 world crown.

 

Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, leading positions:

1. Rashed Al Qemzi UAE 44 laps

2. Duarte Benavente POR  +4.63

3. Stefan Hagin GER  +16.69

4. Kalle Viippo FIN +19.56 (43)

5. Uvis Slakteris LAT +23.35 (43)

6. Ahmad Al Fahim UAE +29.60 (43)

7. Nikita LijcsLAT+47.03

8. Mette Bjerknæs NOR +31.75 (42)

9. Héctor SanzSPA+33.60 (42)

10. Mansoor Al Mansoori  42 

 

Captions:

1 Rashed Al Qemzi was congratulated on the podium by H.H.Sheikh Mohammed bin Sultan bin     Khalifa al Nahyan

2.   Al Qemzi - No.1 in the world and the first F2 Grand Prix winner in Abu Dhabi.

 

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AL QEMZI CLAIMS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX POLE WITH BRILLIANT SURGE

Team Abu Dhabi’s F2 world champion lines up home victory as series reaches grand finale in UAE capital

 

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 6 December, 2019: Rashed Al Qemzi underlined his dominance of the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship today with another sparkling display to claim pole position for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.

The Team Abu Dhabi driver, who wrapped up his second F2 world title in three years at the penultimate round of the series in Portugal, maintained his 100% qualifying record to move within reach of a fourth Grand Prix victory of the season.

Saving his best until last, Al Qemzi produced a brilliant second lap in the qualifying shoot-out to set a fastest time of 45.13 secs and deny Portugal’s Duarte Benavente (45.59) who had edged out Britain’s Owen Jelf (46.09) moments earlier.

A home triumph on the championship’s first ever visit to the UAE capital will be the crowning glory for Al Qemzi, who has led the way from his opening round success in Lithuania, and also won the Grand Prix of Italy.

He clinched a fifth successive pole succession on the day a new academy was officially opened adjacent to Abu Dhabi’s Grand Prix race venue to teach and train the next generation of water sports enthusiasts and world champions in the UAE capital.

Immediately following the qualifying action, Thomas Kurth, Secretary General of the UIM, the international governing body of powerboating, officially inaugurated the new Abu Dhabi Marine Academy.

The academy has been set up by Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club to build on the outstanding powerboat racing success of Team Abu Dhabi who have won nine world titles since Guido Cappellini arrived as team manager in February, 2015.

Using a team of internationally and nationally qualified academy course instructors, it offers expert tuition in a range of water based sports from swimming and flyboard to waterski, aquabike, and powerboat racing as well as rescue, recovery and safety.

Leading qualifying times:

1. Rashed Al Qemzi UAE 45.13 

2. Duarte Benavente POR  45.59

3. Owen Jelf GBR 45.75

4. Tobias Munthe-Kaas NOR 46.03

5. Stefan Hagin GER  46.56

6. Edgaras Riabko LT 46.75

7. Ola Pettersson SWE 46.94

8. Ferdinand Zandbergen NL 47.57

9. Kalle Viippo FIN 47.91

10. Ahmad Al Fahim UAE 51.53

 

Captions:

1. Rashed Al Qemzi – aiming to round off his world title-winning season with a home victory in AbuDhabi

2. Al Qemzi powered his way to a fifth successive pole position.

 

 

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CAPPELLINI TIPS WORLD CHAMPION AL QEMZI TO ROUND OFF SEASON WITH HOME WIN

Team Abu Dhabi boss says Emirati driver is a real talent and pressure is off him for Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

 

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 5 December, 2019: Team Abu Dhabi manager Guido Cappellini expects Rashed Al Qemzi to round off a brilliant season with victory on home waters this weekend.

Already installed as the 2019 UIM F2 world champion, Al Qemzi has the chance to claim another place in the record books by winning on the series’ first visit to the UAE capital, and team manager Cappellini expects the Emirati driver to do just that.

“If the championship was still wide open, the pressure on the team and the driver would be incredible,” said the Italian ten-times former F1H20 world champion ahead of Saturday’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

“But Rashed is already champion so there is no pressure. He just wants to do a good job. He’s thinking only to win this race, and we believe he will.”

As Al Qemzi and the rest of the 20-strong F2 line-up assembled at Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club for this afternoon’s free practice, Cappellini paid tribute to the 27-year old Emirati driver who was Nations Cup and F4-S world champion before his first F2 triumph in 2017.

“I have known Rashed for five years and in this time I’ve seen a big difference in him,” he said. “He is more disciplined, he works harder, and this is the combination that brings results. I’m not surprised by what he has done this season. I saw his potential a long time ago. He is a real talent. 

“Since he stepped up a grade he has won the F2 world title twice in three years. That’s not easy, as this is one of the most difficult race categories in the world.”

Reflecting his team manager’s confidence, Al Qemzi said before free practice: “I feel very good, and I’m happy to race in my country. It will mean a lot to me to win here in Abu Dhabi, but I’m relaxed for this race.”

Al Qemzi expects “a big fight” to ensue in Saturday afternoon’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi between Portugal’s Duarte Benavente, Sweden’s Ola Pettersson, Dutchman Ferdinand Zandbergen and Germany’s Stefan Hagin, the four drivers battling for second place in the championship.

The starting grid for the race will be decided in the three-stage qualifying session getting under way at 3.30pm on Friday over the 1.825m Grand Prix circuit providing ideal viewing for spectators between the Corniche and the Breakwater.

 

Caption:  Team Abu Dhabi manager Guido Cappellini with Rashed Al Qemzi.

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RACE LEGEND BACK AFTER BREAKING NECK SEES MORE WORLD TITLES ON THE WAY TO ABU DHABI

Al Qemzi is tough, cool F2 champion says Sundsdal who aims for strong finish 20 years on from UAE debut 

 Abu Dhabi, UAE, 4 December, 2019: Frode Sundsdal returns to action in this weekend’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi after breaking his neck earlier this season, and the Norwegian powerboat racing legend says it is no surprise that the UAE capital has produced another world champion.

Sundsdal, whose career achievements include three world titles and 11 world speed records, lines up in the final round of the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship 20 years after racing for the first time in Abu Dhabi.

Having already clinched the UIM F2 world title for the second time in three years, Rashed Al Qemzi wants to round off the season with a victory on home waters, and Sundsdal sees much more success ahead for the Emirati and Team Abu Dhabi.

“I’ve been racing against Rashed for the last three years, and I’ve seen a lot of change in him,” said the 11-times Norwegian and triple European champion, who arrived at Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club a week early to start his race preparations.

“He is really developing, and turning into a tough competitor. The pressure doesn’t get to him. He really knows how to keep his cool. And he has a lot of help.

“When you walk into this club you see that the Team Abu Dhabi boys have been there since 6 o’clock in the morning. The other guys are back home in Europe sleeping, and they are still wondering why we can’t beat them. It’s no secret to me.”

Sundsdal, who organises the Norwegian round of the UIM F2 World Championship in Tønsberg,  broke his neck during a race accident in the European Championship earlier this year. 

Keeping the news from his doctor, he started, and finished third in Tonsberg’s speed run – won by Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Tayer - prior to the Grand Prix of Norway in August. “But after that I lost vision and it was too painful to race the next day,” he said.

Back in race mode again this weekend for the first time since then, he is targeting a top six finish, and certainly hopes for better fortunes than he experienced 20 years ago when a spectacular crash halted his progress on the first lap. 

While ADIMSC is renowned as a world championship powerboat racing venue, this is Abu Dhabi’s first UIM F2 Grand Prix, and with a powerful 20-team starting line-up the stage is set 

for a thrilling grand finale to the season. 

Al Qemzi will be fighting off a succession of top challengers, including four drivers each able to finish championship runner up, namely Portugal’s Duarte Benavente, Sweden’s Ola Pettersson, Dutchman Ferdinand Zandbergen and Germany’s Stefan Hagin, 

The first free practice session gets under way at 3pm on Thursday with another practice session following at 10.15am on Friday before the three-stage qualifying series starting at 3.30pm. The 2019 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi begins at 3.30pm on Saturday. 

UIM F2 World Championship leading positions after 4 of 5 rounds

 

1. Rashed Al Qemzi UAE 75pts (world champion)

2. Duarte Benavente POR 38

3. Ola Pettersson SWE 34

4. Ferdinand Zandbergen NL 34

5. Stefan Hagin GER 20

6. Daniel Segenmark SWE 20

Captions:  

  1. Frode Sundsdal (right) with Rashed Al Qemzi, Rashid Al Tayer (left) and young fans at the  Grand Prix of Norway earlier this year.
  1. Rashed Al Qemzi – UIM F2 world champion. 
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ABU DHABI BRINGS DOWN CURTAIN ON UIM F2 SERIES IN HUGE MONTH FOR POWERBOAT RACING IN UAE

Team Abu Dhabi’s Al Qemzi aims for treasured home victory to crown championship-winning season

 

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 1 December, 2019: The Grand Prix of Dhabi brings the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship to a conclusion next weekend at the start of an intriguing month for international powerboat racing which will see three world titles decided in the UAE.

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi, who has already secured the F2 world crown for the second time in three years after dominating the 2019 series, has the opportunity to round off a superb season with a treasured victory on home waters.

This will be the first time that Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) has hosted a round of the UIM F2 Championship, and Al Qemzi has the chance of another place in the record books as the first ever F2 Grand Prix winner in the UAE capital.

Among those aiming to block his patch to victory are four drivers fighting it out for runners-up spot in the championship, Portugal’s Duarte Benavente, Sweden’s Ola Pettersson, Dutchman Ferdinand Zandbergen and Germany’s Stefan Hagin, winner of this year’s Grand Prix of Norway.

They are in a powerful 19-boat line-up assembling at ADIMSC, home base for Team Abu Dhabi who have also secured this year’s World Endurance Championships.

The title haul could reach five during the month. Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori will be battling to retain their UIM XCAT World Championship in Dubai on 13-14 December, while a week later, Torrente aims to land a second successive F1H2O drivers crown in Sharjah, and at the same time secure another team championship with Thani Al Qemzi.

“It’s going to be a thrilling month to round of the world championship powerboat racing season, with so much at stake,” said Salem Al Remeithi, General Manager of ADIMSC.

“Our first priority is to provide a perfect platform for the final round of the UIM F2 World Championship, which we are delighted to be hosting for the first time. We look forward to a classic battle for victory in the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi between the best drivers in the series.”

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Tayer, whose boat was damaged during the previous round in Portugal forcing him to miss the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, will still be in action this weekend.

Al Tayer will contest the Pro Runabout GP division at the Jet Ski World Cup 2019 in Pattaya City, Thailand.  The Emirati lies seven points behind Poland’s Andrzej Wisniewski in the race for the Runabout GP1 title in this season’s UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship, with the final round in Sharjah from 17-20 December.

ADIMSC has set out a 1,825m F2 circuit which is reduced to 1,015m for the GT15 and F4 national class races also featured in the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi programme.

The F2 boats take to the water at 3pm on Thursday for free practice, with another practice session following at 10.15am the next day ahead of the three-stage qualifying series getting under way at 3.30pm. The 2019 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi roars to life at 3.30pm on Saturday. 

 

UIM F2 World Championship leading positions after 4 of 5 rounds

1. Rashed Al Qemzi UAE 75pts (world champion)

2. Duarte Benavente POR 38

3. Ola Pettersson SWE 34

4. Ferdinand Zandbergen NL 34

5. Stefan Hagin GER 20

6. Daniel Segenmark SWE 20

 

Captions

1.    Rashed Al Qemzi clinched the UIM F2 world title with victory in Norway.

2.    Al Qemzi wants to round off the season with a victory on home waters in Abu Dhabi.

 

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RAPA, VIRAG ARE PURE GOLD IN ABU DHABI

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 23 November, 2019:  Nic Rapa produced a masterful display to round off a golden day for Australia at the 2019 IWWF World Wakeboard Championships in Abu Dhabi as Alice Virag crowned a brilliant week with her own grand finale.

Rapa, who had looked almost unbeatable ever since he took to the water in the UAE capital several days earlier, struck gold with another impeccable performance in the Open Men’s final to become IWWF world champion.

In a scintillating showdown to round off five days of spectacular action involving the sport’s top professional athletes, Japan’s Shota Tezuka took the silver medal, with another Aussie, Tony Iacconi, landing the bronze.

Competition was equally intense in the Open Women’s final, and 19-year-old Virag edged Sanne Meijer from the Netherlands into the silver medal spot, with Argentina’s Eugenia De Armas claiming bronze.

“It’s been an absolutely amazing week,” said Rapa. “It’s been almost effortless with my riding. Everything felt absolutely great. It was like everything was just working for me. The competition has been amazing and it’s been an awesome experience here in Abu Dhabi.”

Virag’s success produced joyful celebrations on the Eastern Mangrove Promenade as the 19-year-old was showered with water and hugged by her Italian team-mates, including twin sister Chiara who was placed sixth in the Open Women’s final.

“I don’t know what to say,” declared Alice. “I’m really happy. It was amazing. I felt all week that I could do it. I thought a lot about what I was going to do since yesterday and just changed two tricks. I can’t believe it.”

The first gold medal of the day had gone earlier to New Zealand’s Charlotte Broadbent in the Veteran Women final. Australian Travis Osborne was soon to be seen wearing one of the biggest grins in Abu Dhabi after striking gold in the Over 40 Veteran Men’s event, 12 years after winning the IWWF Masters title for 30-year-olds.

Frenchman Lucas Langlois topped the podium in the Over 30 Master Men while American Alex Albin became IWWF Under 14 Boys world champion and Mackenzie McCarthy secured Australia’s second gold medal of the day in the Junior Women’s event.

With green and gold clearly the colour scheme in fashion, Sam Brown produced another powerful display to win the Junior Men’s final and complete an Aussie haul of five IWWF world titles following Sienna Curren’s success in the Under 14 Girls 24 hours earlier.

Final results

Over 40 Veteran Women: 1 Charlotte Broadbent (NZ), 2. Cathy Williams (USA) 3. Sigrid Bachler (GER).

Over 40 Veteran Men: 1. Travis Osborne (AUS), Dayle Cartwright (USA), 3. Daniel Duquesnoy (FRA).

Over 30 Master Men: 1. Lucas Langlois (FRA), 2. Yann Calvez (FRA), 3. Marcelo Giardi (BRA).

Under 14 Boys: 1. Alex Albin (USA), 2. Riito Shikai (JAP), 3. Stefano James Comollo (ITA).

Junior Women: Mackenzie McCarthy (AUS), 2. Julia Molinari (ITA), 3. Anna Maria Kushkovskaya (RUS).

Junior Men: 1. Sam Brown (AUS), 2. Maxime Roux (FRA), 3. Jamie Huser (SUI).

Open Women: 1. Alice Virag (ITA), 2. Sanne Meijer (NED), 3. Eugenia De Armas (ARG).  

Open Men: 1. Nic Rapa (AUS), 2. Shota Tezuka, 3. Tony Iacconi (AUS).

 

Captions:

1. Nic Rapa on his way to gold in the Open Men’s final

2. Italian Alice Virag secured the Open Women’s gold in Abu Dhabi

 

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