Shanghai: Team Abu Dhabi switches its attention away from considerable success in single-seater UIM F1 H2O Grand Prix powerboat racing to continue its challenge for honours in the 2018 UIM XCAT World Championship at the first of three consecutive weekly race meetings in China, starting this weekend.
The team running out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) is in Shanghai this week before resuming its quest for XCAT honours in Hangzhou and Xiamen in the coming two weeks. Once again, two boats will challenge for honours in the world’s premier offshore racing series.
American racer Shaun Torrente and Emirati Faleh Al Mansoori are crew Team Abu Dhabi 4 and will be joined on Dishui Lake in the Pudong New District of Shanghai City by Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori in Team Abu Dhabi 5.
The two crews have their work cut out to prevent the Dubai Police crew of Nadir Bin Hendi and Arif Saif Al Zafeen from extending their useful lead in the championship standings after dominant performances at the opening rounds in Fujairah in the spring and in Stresa, Italy, in July.
Bin Hendi and Al Zafeen currently hold a 48-point advantage over the 222 Offshore crew of Italian Giovanni Carpitella and Australian throttleman Darren Nicholson. Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori are 10 points further adrift after securing two second-placed finishes on Lake Maggiore in Stresa. Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori are fifth in the championship at the helm of their American-built MTi boat and will be aiming to move in front of the fourth-placed Team Australia’s Blue Roo crew of Pal-Virik Nilsen and Jan Trygve Braaten.
Team Abu Dhabi 4’s Torrente won the recent round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship in Xiangyang, but the team has not been able to dominate the XCAT series in the same way that Thani Al Qemzi, Erik Stark and Torrente are beginning to run away with the single-seater racing discipline for Team Abu Dhabi.
Torrente said: “Hopefully the next step for the team is getting a win to follow on from the two second places Faleh and I had in Italy and the fourth and fifth places that Rashed and Majed earned in the UAE and Italy. We need to try and take down Nadir and Arif and the Dubai Police boat. We have made some improvements to the set-up and hopefully we can get podium finishes and, even better, a win.”
Other teams likely to challenge for honours in China include Yacht Club’s Serafino Barlesi and Alessandro Barone, Kuwait’s Abdullatef Al Omani and Mustafa Al Dashti, the Russian New Star crew of Mikhail Kitashev and Dmitry Vandyshev and Swecat Racing’s Mikael Bengtsson and Torrente’s F1 H2O teammate Erik Stark.
2018 UIM XCAT World Championship – positions after race 4:
1. Dubai Police 3 140pts
2. 222 Offshore 10 92pts
3. Team Abu Dhabi 4 82pts
4. Team Australia 8 74pts
5. Team Abu Dhabi 5 67pts