Rising Swedish offshore racing prospect Joakim Kumlin is teaming up with veteran American racer Gary Ballough in Mouawad, the outboard-powered catamaran that finished third overall last season in the Union Internationale Motonautique Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series, when the circuit resumes in Naples, Italy on May 23. Kumlin is stepping for Omar Danial, the boat’s owner and driver, who has a commitment in Dubai next weekend.
Kumlin’s season in Team Westerlund came to a premature end at the last race in Fujairah, when the boat flipped and was badly damaged.
“The Westerlund team has decided to sit the rest of this year out, so Joakim is available to drive our boat,” said Ballough in a press release from the organization. “We are confident of his skills and enjoyed his friendship as a fellow racer, thus it will be simple to gel as a team.”
The Dubai-backed Fazza team, last year’s XCAT champion and current leaders in the 2014 series, remains the team to beat. Ballough said he expects the team to be as strong as ever this season.
“As far as Fazza goes, it doesn’t matter where they race, they’re really good in any water,” said Ballough. “I wish them and all the teams a fair and safe race.”