The Dubai Police team of Arif Al-Zaffein and Nadir Bin Hendi are off to a great start this season after winning the second race of the 2018 Union Internationale Motonautique XCAT World Championship on Friday, a day after earning the victory in the opening round of the Fujairah Grand Prix in Fujairah, UAE.
Dubai Police won back-to-back XCAT races in Fujairah, UAE. Photos courtesy XCAT World Championship
Thanks to another smooth start on Friday, the Victory Team’s Dubai Police controlled the race with clean water ahead and by using the long-lap strategy it decided in advance with its team manager. After 17 laps, it had extended its lead to 44 seconds over the second-place team—Team Australia, which rebounded nicely from an accident with Maritimo on the first lap of Thursday’s race. New Star’s Mikhail Kitashev and Dmitry Vandyshev were third after being passed by their rivals on the final lap.
Teammates Pål Virik Nilsen and Jan Trygve put on quite a show following Team Australia’s all-night session to mend the boat and enter Friday’s race. From the back of the pack, they passed Videx, Fujairah, HPI Racing and Kuwait to finish the first lap in seventh place. Then they hit the long laps on the third and fifth laps and kept pushing until they reached fourth with two laps to go. A successful overtake of Team Abu Dhabi 5 on lap 15 put them third behind New Star, but the Russians still had to take a second long lap and their lead was not enough.
Team Australia ran a good race to move from the back of the pack to second place in the Fujairah Grand Prix.
New Star managed to hold off the Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori in its new MTI cat. Team Abu Dhabi 4’s Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al-Mansoori were forced out after five laps while challenging for second position.
“It was disappointing,” said Torrente, who hails from Florida and is racing with Team Abu Dhabi in both XCAT and the F1 H2O World Championship. “We were actually battling for second on lap six and then took a bit of a flyer, landed a bit sideways and broke the cowling and the trim. It was a tough day but we were happy with the boat.”
Another team that was disappointed with its finish was 222 Offshore, which took second on Thursday. The team ran in second for most of Friday’s race until an electronic issue took out an engine and dropped the team to eighth.
The XCAT World Championship resumes in late summer with several races in China, although the final calendar and actual venues are still being finalized.