Team Victory
Team Victory on their way to victory in Missouri. Image Credit: Courtesy: Organisers

Dubai: The Victory Team’s duo of Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali showed their intent following their outright win in the Class 1 category at the second round of the 2019 ABPA Offshore Championship Series held on Camden on the Lake in Missouri in the early hours of Sunday.

Pursuing Round One winner ‘Miss Geico’ from the start of the race, Victory Team’s Boat No. 3 managed a quick overtake midway through the opening lap and never look behind for a strong finish. Eight-time world champions Steve Curtis and James Sheppard kept up the chase despite losing a lot of power till they finally limped out on the seventh lap of the 12-lap race. Australian entry ‘222 Offshore,’ with the experienced Giovanni Carpitella and Peter McGrath on board, took the second spot — pushing Curtis and Sheppard one step lower.

The win gives Victory Team the sole position on top of the overall standings after two rounds of the six-race calendar for the 2019 season. However, it was the dominance and style that set them apart as Victory 3 first took out pole-setter ‘222 Offshore’ and then used the dog leg bend on Turn Number One to account for ‘Miss Geico’ with a clever slip from the left.

After that excellent run, it was Victory 3 all the way as Al Adidi and Al Ali continued improving on the time-chart with each passing lap to finish well clear of ‘222 Offshore’ and ‘Miss Geico’ who ultimately limped out with a mechanical issue.

“We have always believed in the capabilities of our entire team. Each one is dedicated and focused and today’s feat proves that Victory Team is as capable as they used to be. We are in the process of assisting in the revival of Class 1 racing across the Atlantic and today our young team of Salem and Eisa has shouldered this responsibility well. We are now at the top of the standings and we can’t take anyone lightly as we want the championship title,” Huraiz Bin Huraiz, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Victory Team, told Gulf News.

“Winning is such a fantastic feeling. I cannot even speak at this moment. We owe this win to the team, the crew, to the people of Dubai and the UAE especially at this juncture when we head towards the Eid festivities,” Al Ali said from Missouri.

“We didn’t do anything special. We took the boat out for a bit of spin during morning practice and opted for a set-up which we thought would work best. And it did. All this points to the experience of a dedicated crew and team,” Al Adidi added.

Al Adidi and Al Ali had brought Victory 3 in second place behind Miss Geico in the season opening race held on Cocoa Beach, Florida a fortnight back. “We’ve been through tough times and we deserve this result. Luckily, we got everything right today,” Victory’s Offshore Racing Manager Luciano Barbati said.

“We’ve got a momentum going and we should be in the best position to use this to our advantage as the series progresses,” the Italian added.

The Victory Team will head back home to Dubai during the week and move back to Sarasota for the third round to be held alongside US National Day celebrations in the first week of July followed by stops in St Clair (July 26-28), the penultimate round in Michigan City (August 2-4) and the season finale in Fort Myers from October 10-12.