Today’s sixth round of the Union International Motonautique XCAT World Championship—the second race of this weekend’s Shanghai Grand Prix on Dishui Lake in China—turned out to be much clearer, and cleaner, than Saturday’s race.
Team Abu Dhabi 4’s Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al-Mansoori ran an impressive race on Sunday to win the second XCAT World Championship race of the Shanghai Grand Prix in China. Photo courtesy ADIMSC
Team Abu Dhabi sealed an emphatic 1-2 finish in race two of the Shanghai Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon, following up what was thought to be a 2-4 finish on Saturday that ended up being reversed on Sunday after an imposed 30-second “striking a turn buoy” penalty that dropped Team Abu Dhabi 5 from first to fourth was reviewed and overturned leaving Team Abu Dhabi 5 teammates Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori with the first-place spot and Team Abu Dhabi 4’s Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al-Mansoori in third.
On Sunday, however, the American and Emirati duo in the No. 4 boat got the best of its teammates in the No. 5 boat and blasted to an impressive 36-second victory to close out the third round—and the halfway point—of the XCAT World Championship.
With the series-leading Dubai Police crew of Nadir Bin Hendi and Arif Saif Al-Zafeen finishing in fifth position behind High Performance Italia 96’s Francois Pinelli and Giuseppe Schiano Di Cola and Team Australia’s The Blue Roo Norwegian crew of Pål-Virik Nilsen and Jan Trygve Braaten, the results enabled Torrente and Al-Mansoori to close to within 20 points of the championship lead (163 points to 143 points) heading into the next two races in Hangzhou, China, next weekend.
In a race that had few incidents unlike Saturday’s red-flag-interrupted race, long-lap strategies came to the forefront early on Sunday, but Team Abu Dhabi 4 was not to be denied—once Torrente and Al-Mansoori sniffed the chance of the victory, they powered off into the distance with authority. Team Abu Dhabi 5 now holds third position in the title race—11 points behind Team Abu Dhabi 4 and six points ahead of The Blue Roo.
“We have the best powerboat racing team in the world,” Torrente said after the race, praising everyone involved with the team that is run out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club. “It is our pleasure to drive the boats that Team Abu Dhabi prepares. We had a great start and we were able to push our teammates. We knew we were faster. When they took their second long lap, we were ahead and we knew it. The last five laps were painful because we had a big lead and we were just waiting for something to go wrong. This is a perfect result for us, and one that has thrown the title race wide open. For the team to come away with a 1-2 finish is icing on the cake to take to the next races.”
At the start, Team Abu Dhabi 5 kept its leadership while Team Abu Dhabi 4 was able to pass Team Blue Roo to claim the second spot. The teams started to pull away from the Aussies, while from the back Dubai Police climbed back from 11th to fifth.
“I am very happy for the podium today,” Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Al-Tayer said. “Our strategy was good—we are thinking about the points for the world championship.”