Thanks to some massive waves and rough conditions during the fifth round of the Union Internationale Motonautique XCAT World Series in Dubai, UAE, half of the 14 teams didn’t even make it to the finish line on Saturday. That attrition, which knocked out the overall series points leaders and defending champions—XDubai—six laps into the race, leaves the championship up for grabs heading into the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi this weekend (Nov. 25-27).
Videx teammates Joakim Kumlin and Alfredo Amato secured the XCAT victory on Saturday in Dubai. Photos courtesy XCAT
With Italian teammates Joakim Kumlin and Alfredo Amato securing the victory in Videx, another Italian team, Giovanni Carpitella and Luca Fendi in T-Bone Station, finished second. Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer and Faleh Al Mansoori, who now trail XDubai’s Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi by just one point (139-138), overcame initial problems and overtook the heartbroken Swecat team of Erik Stark and Mikael Bengtsson, who broke down on the final lap, to claim the third spot.
Saturday’s drama also saw the Six team of Tomaso Polli and Matteo Nicolini take an underwater dive while leading the race on the ninth lap. Polli and Nicolini managed to keep the engines running and make it to the penultimate lap, which meant they could still claim 12 championship points to remain in the third spot overall.
But the day belonged to Videx in the end and Kumlin was thrilled with the victory.
“It was a really tough race,” Kumlin said in the XCAT release. “We started very well from the beginning and then Fazza had a problem, Abu Dhabi had a problem and we just kept on going. After they dived we had a chance to take boat Six and we were leading the race right after that. I’m so, so happy about the result. Dubai is a really good place to win.”
Videx because the first Italian team to win an XCAT race in more than two years.
T-Bone Station’s Fendi was equally thrilled with second spot after a hair-raising start to the race.
“It was more than exciting—I was a little bit scared too,” Fendi admitted. “I have to say, it was really rough and our boat is the shortest so we were sometimes going inside the waves.
“I said ‘I don’t know if we can finish’ so we slowed down a bit to save the boat because it was really rough,” he continued. “I don’t think we would have made it if we had pushed to the limit for 16 laps. And that tactic paid off because those that were really pushing broke the engines or the boat or something. It was our decision to slow down. These were the worst possible conditions for our boat but Giovanni is so good at managing this.”
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