Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali led from pole position to win an exciting fourth and final round of the 2016 Union Internationale Motonautique XCAT World Series at the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club breakwater on Friday. The Dubai 33 team also secured the second spot in the overall season standings with the victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Dubai 33 team finished first in the final race of the 2016 XCAT World Series in Abu Dhabi. Photos courtesy XCAT World Series
Red-flagged after defending world champions Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi flipped their Victory Team catamaran on the second lap, Dubai 33 fought to hold off the home team duo of Rashed Al Tayer and Salem Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 5 and secure the second spot behind Victory Team, which was victorious in the first three rounds. Despite running with two-stroke engines, the T-Bone Station duo of Giovanni Carpitella and Ahmed Al Hameli came in third just one second ahead of Sweden’s Joakim Kumlin and former F1 champion Jay Price of Louisiana in Lady Spain.
The French-Italian pairing of Francois Pinelli and Saul Bubacco in Yacht followed in fifth, while the sixth spot went to the Blue Roo duo of Brett Luhrmann of Australia and Pal-Virik Nilsen of Norway.
Swecat Racing, one of four boats with a chance of finishing runner-up behind Victory Team this season, had an off day finishing seventh, while Kuwait’s Abdul Latif Al Omani and Khaled Burabee in Raheeb had to stay content with the eighth spot leaving ninth place for Russian debutants Mikhail Kitashev and Dmitry Vandyshev in their brand-new Victory Team-built New Star boat.
The Gold Coast Australia team, the fourth one in the hunt for second with Abu Dhabi 5, Dubai 33 and Swecat, started experiencing problems with the steering, and despite some additional minutes when the red flag was out when defending world champions Victory Team flipped on the second lap, the Australia duo of Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton could not catch up and stay in contention to challenge Dubai 33 and Abu Dhabi 5, which finished the season third overall.