At the end of this week Gary Ballough will be catching a flight from Florida to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the seventh and final race of the 2013 Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) XCAT World Series taking place December 12-14. Racing his fifth season on the overseas outboard-powered catamaran circuit, Ballough and teammate Omar Danial of Switzerland have their Mouawad boat within striking distance of the overall championship.
A win in Dubai—the hometown of the Victory Team-backed Fazza boat that holds the series lead with 1,501 points compared to second-place Mouawad (1,290) and third-place Skydive Dubai (1,206)—would give Ballough and Danial their first XCAT championship, a title Ballough says would probably be the most gratifying trophy of his accomplished offshore racing career.
But Ballough’s shot at another world championship isn’t why I opted to write about him this week. The real reason I caught up with the Boca Raton, Fla., resident is that for the first time in many years, the throttleman is actually looking forward to the end of the racing season so he can do some pleasure boating.