Dubai: Newly-crowned world champions Maritimo are exploring possibilities of branching out into further forms of powerboat racing from 2020.
Heading into the final race on the 2019 UIM XCAT World Championship over the weekend, Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton teamed up to power Maritimo ahead of challengers Abu Dhabi 4 and 5 and Dubai Police for their first-ever world title.
The win in the second and final race of the season-ending Dubai Grand Prix saw the two boats from Team Abu Dhabi take second and fourth places overall as the Gold Coast-based Maritimo ran away with the crown with 202 points.
Defending world champions Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansouri finished runners-up in Abu Dhabi 4 with 193 points, while former champions Arif Al Zafein and Nader Bin Hindi came in third with 191 points — leaving Rashid Al Tayer and Majid Al Mansouri in Abu Dhabi 5 for the fourth with 169 points.
“The feeling at this moment is just indescribable, and this is because winning a world title is just one of those things that I always wanted to achieve in life. It gives us a lot of confidence that we can compete among the best and be at the top,” Barry-Cotter told Gulf News.
“This title is definitely the first one for me, and it gives me so much belief that we think this can determine what we want to do in the future,” the Australian added.
Barry-Cotter has been a regular in the UIM XCAT World Championship along with close friend Pal Virik Nilsen since the series made its debut in 2013. Operating out of the Maritimo Team base in Gold Coast, Australia, the duo could not achieve a full season together as Virik Nilsen has taken time off to attend to an illness.
Last season was meant to be a full one, but then Maritimo crashed in the first race itself forcing them to re-build from scratch into what is now the brand-new Maritimo R30. Earlier last week, the Maritimo Team won the Australian Offshore Superboat Championship.
“It’s been a long journey for all of us. We had to build a new hull and an entirely new boat. But we did well and delivered in the end,” Barry-Cotter noted.
The team will now pack up and head off to the Gold Coast and commence testing after the Christmas break. “The future is now before us. We will continue in the XCATs, but may be tempted to do some racing in the US as well while also racing in the Australian National Championships. We are excited about the future,” he insisted.
Overall standings: 1. Maritimo — Tom Barry-Cotter/Ross Willaton (202 points); 2. Abu Dhabi 4 — Shaun Torrente/Faleh Al Mansouri (193); 3. Dubai Police 3 — Arif Al Zafein/Nader Bin Hindi (191); 4. Abu Dhabi 5 — Rashid Al Tayer/Majid Al Mansouri (169); 5. 222 Offshore — Giovanni Carpitella/Darren Nicholson (107); 6. HPI Racing Team — Rosario Schiano Di Cola/Giuseppe Schiano Di Cola (94); 7. De Mitri — Roberto Lo Piano/Maurizio Carando (56); 8. Kuwait — Abdul Latif Al Omani/Moustafa Al Dashti (54); 9. The Blue Roo — Pal Virik Nilsen/Jan Trygve Braaten (48); 10. New Star Racing — Mikhail Kitashev/Dmitry Vandyshev (47); 11. Swecat Racing — Erik Stark/Sebastian Groth (44); 12. Videx — Alfredo Amato/Saul Bubacco (38); 13. Consulbrokers — Andrea Comello/Luca Betti (30).