Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) achieved great success last year in the UIM World Formula One Powerboats Championship, with the Abu Dhabi F-I Team winning the Bronze Medal for their driver Thani Al Qamzy and the Gold medal in the Team competition.
But after four rounds of the championship this year, it seems that the ADIMSC will have a difficult task in maintaining the same success they achieved last year.
Their star driver Al Qamzy has failed to collect a single point following a series of mechanical problems and only Ahmad Al Hamly is doing his best to hoist the flag of the country having collected 28 points to take the third place which put the team 5th in the standings.
Gulf News met with Salem Rashid Al Rumaithi, the Director of the club, to discuss the future of the team, the club's plans to defend their titles and their new partnership with Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).
Gulf News: What happened this year to Al Qamzy and how are you planning to save the season?
Rumaithi: It was sheer bad luck. Thani (Al Qamzy) was one of the best drivers in the circuit. He was forced to retire from all four races because of mechanical problems but that was common in such sports of speed and no one can blame either the driver of the mechanical staff.
In all four times when Thani was forced to retire, he was either leading or competing for the leadership of the races.
He needs a bit of good luck and I am sure he will win top places in the remaining races.
Meanwhile, we will receive a new boat at the end of this month, July, and after testing it, Thani will drive it for the rest of the season.
Is the absence of former team captain American Scott Gillman the main reason for the poor results?
I am not sure that is one of the reasons because Scott was forced to retire because of medical advise in the middle of last season and Thani and Ahmad (Al Hamly) completed the competition and were able to win the teams event registering many outstanding results. Scott is still a part of the team and does a great job outside the track.
How do you evaluate the performance of Al Hamly this year?
Ahmad is doing an outstanding job. He won the admiration and respect of all the drivers in his first ever full season. He is third in the Drivers Championship and I am sure he will finish the season at least as second if he was lucky not to face boat troubles.
Ahmad has the talent and determination and he needs more experience to become a champion. We expect him to win enough experience this season.
What are your future plans for the team?
At the start of the season we were planning to win a better achievement than last year. We are still hopeful to defend the teams title and win a better place in the Drivers Championship than the third and I do believe that Ahmad will achieve that bearing in mind that Thani can also achieve good results in the remainder of the races.
We will have new and better boats in the future and we will be able to provide better conditions for the drivers.
We look forward to a better future for the team with young drivers who are preparing at the moment in the tracks of the Formula 2000 to form a second team. Drivers like Majid Al Mansouri and Rashid Al Tayer have proved their capabilities and quality to take part in the FI races.
How do you see your new partnership with ADTA?
It was a good and successful partnership. We are working together to promote Abu Dhabi and at the same time achieve good results in the races. They will provide the drivers with all the necessary facilities and preparations to achieve excellent results and we are happy with the deal.
Anything you want to add?
I would like to thank Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the Chairman of the ADIMSC, for his unlimited support to the club and to the FI Team and I believe all the good results achieved by our drivers are the fruit of his support. I would also like to mention that we have ambitious plans to spread and improve the marine sports, sailing, rowing, jet ski and motor sports and encourage both the local and expatriate youngsters to practice in our club.