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Abu Dhabi’s Class 3 Revival Setting The Pace For New Championship Series

According to a press release, the revival of Class 3 powerboat racing in Abu Dhabi this weekend could quickly lead to an influx of top teams from around the world looking to compete in the new United Arab Emirates-based championship. While there hasn’t been much news ahead of time on the series resurfacing, several teams are participating in the UAE Class 3 Powerboat Championship kick-off event this weekend.

The Abu Dhabi 4 team is ready to help kick start the revival of the Class 3 championship series. Photo courtesy ADMSC

American throttleman Shaun Torrente and Emirati driver Faleh Al Mansoori—Team Abu Dhabi’s former Union Internationale Motonautique XCAT World Championship-winning combination—have joined forces again for the start of the new series, which is being organized by Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club.

The Team Abu Dhabi duo is expected to face stern opposition in the first round of the UAE Class 3 Powerboat Championship from Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi, who secured the XCAT world title on home waters for Dubai Police in 2021. Dmitry Vandyshev and Mikhail Kitashev, who took the New Star team to fourth place overall in the same series two years ago, are also in contention, along with Oman’s Abdul Latif Omani & Bader Al Dousari. Team Abu Dhabi’s other team—Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori—complete the line-up in the first round of the series that began with official practice this afternoon.

“The plan is to stage other (Class 3) rounds later in the year, and then next year to have five to seven events across the Emirates,” said Salem Al Remeithi, general manager of ADMSC. “This is just the start, but already teams from other parts of the Gulf and overseas are observing what we’re doing and thinking of joining us next year. We think that in 2024, the championship will attract a lot of top teams from Europe and other parts of the world.”

Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente (left) and Feleh Al Mansoori—the 2018 XCAT world champions—are excited to be joining forces again.

Torrente, a three-time UIM F1H2O world champion, is hopeful the Class 3 championship will thrive.

“It’s great that the championship is back,” Torrente said. “I think it has a great future. Once all the boats are back here for the winter, we can make a real nice championship. I raced here in the Class 3 championship 13 years ago. It was an awesome time. It’s very good for the racers. The UAE does a wonderful job in hosting us, and there’s good prize money as well.

“I’m very happy to be back with Faleh—he’s got a real feel for the boat,” he added. “We have a strong relationship so it should be good. He’s a great driver.”

Following a second practice session  on Saturday morning on a course set between Lulu Island and the Abu Dhabi Corniche, the pole position qualifier follows in the afternoon ahead of Sunday’s Class 3 race.

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