XCAT Powerboating
Maritimo, champions of XCAT World Powerboating Championship last year, poses with the silverware in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Dubai: The UIM, world governing body for watersport, has welcomed the readiness and intent of organisers to start off the XCAT World Championships as per its schedule later this summer.

The UIM XCAT World Championships is prepared for a fresh start following the execution of a framework agreement between the UIM, the Offshore Powerboats Teams (OPTA) and a global media and marketing partner – the World Powerboat Management (WPM) – to run the event around the world.

“While waiting for the world to re-open again to international sporting events, the WPM management has already started work on the safety protocols to be applied as of the first race for 2020,” UIM President Raffaele Chiulli told members during the UIM Council members extraordinary plenary meeting held via video conferencing earlier this week.

“The organisers will ensure that all necessary arrangements are in place for reducing any COVID-19 related risks while protecting all those involved in the organisation and running of events of our offshore powerboat racing series when it resumes shortly,” he added.

As per the UIM XCAT World Championships calendar, the series was scheduled to take off in the last week of March with the opening round in the Gulf area before heading off to Europe for the next two rounds (in May and June).

The boats would then head off to Asia for three more rounds (in July, October and December) before heading back to Dubai for the seventh and final round in the UAE from December 10-12.

Last season witnessed an engrossing battle with the Italian outfit Maritimo walking away with top honours with 202 points at the very last round held along Sunset Beach in Dubai. Abu Dhabi 4 came in second with 193 points, while former champions Dubai Police were pushed down into third place with 191 points.

Meanwhile, the world governing body has also set up an ‘UIM COVID-19 Recovery Task Force’ to provide guidance to the UIM Executive Committee in handling challenges that lie ahead for various watersports. The body will be headed by UIM General Secretary Thomas Kurth along with chosen members from various fields including medical care, epidemiologic prevention, legal protection, risk assessment, sports events and emergency management.

The XCAT World Championship was established in Dubai a few years back under the guidance of Saeed Hareb, then President of the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC). The XCATs are actually Class 3, 6 litre powerboats that have been modified to suit a better class of powerboat racing that includes the form - being more approachable, economical and more entertaining compared to the Class One or F1 categories.