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Team AD gear up for Dubai GP
November 29, 2017
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DUBAI: Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori head into the final weekend of the 2017 UIM XCAT World Championship knowing that outright victories or podium finishes are required if they are to stand a realistic chance of claiming the title in the two races that make up the Dubai Grand Prix, taking place on a spectacular new race course to the west of Palm Jumeirah on Friday and Saturday.

The pair running Team Abu Dhabi 5 out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) hold third position in the series after three Chinese Grand Prix in Zhengzhou, Weihai and Xiamen. They arrive in the UAE trailing the Blue Roo’s Brett Luhrmann and Pål Virik-Nilsen by 32 points and the local Victory Team’s Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali by 21 points.

Mathematically, it is still easily possible for the Emirati duo to claim the title, but the series-leading Team Australia pairing hit impressive form at the five Chinese races (race six was cancelled) progressed and will head out on to the tricky course by Palm Jumeirah knowing that podium finishes alone may be sufficient for the Australian-Norwegian duo to clinch the title.

A penalty lap imposed at race five in Xiamen was costly for Al-Adidi and Al-Ali and they, like Team Abu Dhabi and Al Wasl’s Arif Saif Al Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi, will be hoping to finish the two races on Friday and Saturday afternoon on a winning note. Six boats still have a chance to win the title with 35 points on offer to the winner of each race, 30 for second, 26 for third, 22 for fourth, etc.

The resurgent XCAT series threw up some thrilling action in three manic weekends in China in October and the likes of Caccia Engineering’s Alfredo Amato and Daniele Martignoni and Swecat Racing’s Mikael Bengtsson and Erik Stark were always in the thick of the action. Eleven boats took part in the first three race meetings and the likes of Lady Spain, 222-Offshore, the Fujairah Team, the Russian New Star outfit and Kuwait’s Raheeb are sure to be pushing hard off the coast of Dubai at the season’s finale.

“We are fully aware of the situation and know what we have to do to give us the best chance of winning the championship,” said Team Abu Dhabi’s Tayer.

“This is a new race course in a spectacular setting but the field is strong and we can expect some very close and exciting racing.”  

Etihad Airways is the official carrier for Team Abu Dhabi that is also supported by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and runs under the patronage of Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and chairman of the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club and under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, Vice-President and CEO of the ADIMSC.

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