Team Australia’s Brett Luhrmann and Pål-Virik Nilsen delivered a second successive winning performance in The Blue Roo 8 boat on Sunday in Weihai, China, to storm into contention for the Union Internationale Motonautique XCAT World Championship title with a lead of three points at the season’s halfway point.
The Blue Roo 8 held off Victory 3 and Al Wasl to win the second Weihai race on Sunday. Photos by Raffaello Bastiani/XCAT
The Australian teammates claimed pole position for the second race, courtesy of their win during Saturday’s first race of the Weihai Grand Prix on China’s Yellow Sea, and they lined up ahead of Weihai-China and Team Abu Dhabi for Sunday’s race that was scheduled for a start lap, two long laps and 14 tours of the offshore course in better visibility than the previous day.
Most teams played out a different strategy for the second race and many left their second long laps until later in the race. The Blue Roo team gained the early advantage from Victory 3, Al Wasl, Weihai-China, Swecat Racing and Team Abu Dhabi through the opening few laps and the Australian team moved into a 24-second advantage as the race progressed.
Team Abu Dhabi and Swecat opted for their second long laps at the same time, as the leading trio held station but Al Wasl still had a second long lap to run and would fall further behind Victory 3, who took a second long lap on the 11th tour. Fujairah Racing was one team to take its long laps early and it was rewarded with fifth position heading into the closing laps before dropping behind.
With two laps remaining, The Blue Roo maintained a comfortable cushion at the front of the field, but Al Wasl still needed to take a second long lap and would fall behind Victory 3 and into third place, as Luhrmann and Nilsen claimed the checkered flag for the second successive day and Victory Team moved into second overall in the series with the runner-up spot.
The Mercury Racing ROS-powered XCAT boats put on a good show for the spectators in Weihai, China over the weekend.
After finishing third on Saturday, Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori held the lead in the XCAT World Championship points standings for one day until finishing fifth on Sunday, which dropped them into third place overall, 14 points behind The Blue Roo and 11 points behind Victory 3.
The Italian-Australian pairing of Giovanni Carpitella and Darren Nicholson finished a strong fourth in Weihai-China 10 on Sunday and the Swedish duo of Mikael Bengtsson and Erik Stark shadowed Team Abu Dhabi across the line in sixth place.
The third round of the XCAT World Championship—races five and six—takes place next weekend along the coast in Xiamen, China.