In what turned out to be a hard-fought race, Team Abu Dhabi 35 pulled off the elusive 24 Hours of Rouen victory in the 56th annual endurance event that follows a 3.6-kilometer course on the River Seine through the city of Rouen in Northern France.
Reigning F1 H2O world champion Shaun Torrente powered Team Abu Dhabi 35 into an early lead in Rouen. Photos courtesy ADIMSC (click on team image below to enlarge).
Earlier today, the team, which is backed by the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, pulled off a masterful victory that started the day before with Florida native and reigning F1 H2O world champion, Shaun Torrente, providing a flying start to push the No. 35 boat into the early lead.
With thousands of spectators lining the banks of the River Seine, Torrente gave the team a slight advantage over Team Nollet By New Star, which was spearheaded by France’s three-time F1 H2O world champion Philippe Chiappe. Torrente, who landed the individual and team titles with Team Abu Dhabi last season, proved to be a perfect lead-off driver, setting the standard with the fastest lap of 1:19.998 compared with Chiappe’s 1:22.540.
Although the lead changed hands a few times amongst three other teams—Hafa Racing, Team Nollet By New Star and BRT—Team Abu Dhabi’s Torrente, Rashed Al Tayer, Rashes Al Qemzi and Italian Tullio Abbate prevailed with BRT taking second overall and the Team Abu Dhabi No. 36 boat finishing in third place in the premier S2 class.
“The race was basically flawless,” Torrente said after the race, thanking everyone on the Team Abu Dhabi crew. “The boat only had two minor stops for technical issues. The weather was excellent and the pace was fast, which helped us a lot.”