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Team Abu Dhabi Exits XCAT World Championship

The powerboat racing arm of the Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club, Team Abu Dhabi has withdrawn from the ongoing 2022 XCAT World Championship in Fujairah, UAE. The team announced the move in a terse press release this morning.

Citing issues of fairness, Team Abu Dhabi is out of the XCAT World Championship. Photo courtesy XCAT World Championship

“The lack of consistency in the enforcement of regulations, disproportionate penalties and scrutiny of Team Abu Dhabi, often applied without the use of judicial precedent, led the team to this decision,” the release stated. “As a result, Team Abu Dhabi has suffered unjust and unacceptable harm to its reputation.

“The Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club will continue to participate in championships that provide a fair racing environment for all teams, driving competition and the promotion of marine sports to the benefit of all stakeholders.”

The release was sent after Saturday’s first round race in which 222 Offshore took the checkered flag after a “thrilling battle on the water, and in the rule book,” according to an XCAT press release. The release explained that four teams, Abu Dhabi 4, Abu Dhabi 5, Q8 Oil and Pastamato, were disqualified for not following the track outline when race control decided—during the first lap when the Echo 2 and Foxtrot buoys were destroyed in some tight battles resulting in a tighter turning curve on the right side of the racecourse—to cancel the X-Point circuit for the remainder of the race for safety reasons to prevent the crossing between the boats doing the short lap with the ones on the normal lap.

“The communication was timely delivered to all the competitors, before any of them had the opportunity to take the short lap as regulated in the race instructions, which is after the mandatory first long lap,” the release explained. “However, an internal miscommunication between only four boats and their respective team managers brought them a disqualification for missing the Echo turn by doing the short lap instead of the normal one.”

It appears that yesterday’s disqualification compounded with the Team Abu Dhabi disqualifications due to a technical protest at the mid-December 2021 XCAT World Championship, which the team in turn protested, was enough for the team to opt out of the series.

Although unofficial, results from Sunday’s second round race concluded with the SIX team taking the top spot on the podium followed by 222 Offshore and Foresti&Suardi.

Floridian and two-time defending F1 H2O world champion Shaun Torrente, who is the throttleman for Abu Dhabi 4, added a statement after the team made its announcement.

“I fully endorse Team Abu Dhabi’s decision to withdraw from the XCAT World Championship,” Torrente said. “This team epitomizes excellence and has done nothing but produce a first-class racing product. At every step, we’ve been met with inconsistent, unfair treatment by XCAT, despite the team’s commitment to the sport. The level of professionalism demonstrated by XCAT management is not proportional to the investment the team makes, and the risk that I take personally as a racer. I’m so grateful for all of the team’s work and dedication over the last five years despite the resistance they’ve been met with. By no means does this mark the end of Team Abu Dhabi’s participation in offshore powerboat racing—we are not done.”

Editor’s note: This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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